First-Time Winner Spotlight: Lucas Pouille
Rising Frenchman breaks through in front of home crowd
How does it feel to win your first ATP World Tour title in Metz?
I’m very happy. It’s a big honour to win my first ATP World Tour title in France, in front of family and friends. It’s even more special to win when they are here, since I can share the happiness with all of them. Winning a title is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid watching tennis on television. I’ve played to win since I was young so this one means a lot.
What did you do differently this time, compared to your first final in Bucharest?
This time I knew what time the match was starting, since in Bucharest it was raining quite a bit and the match had to be postponed. Today I did all I could to play my game and to go for that first title.
What did you do well during the week to win the title?
I had some difficult moments, down break points or set points. But I never let up and that helped me win the title.
You beat the top two seeds, No. 1 Dominic Thiem in the final and No. 2 David Goffin in the semi-finals. How were you able to put together those big wins?
I’ve had wins in the past against those two players. I was feeling well physically and mentally so I knew that if I gave 100 per cent, I had a chance to win.
Which players did you admire and pattern your game after?
Growing up I admired Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I didn’t copy the way they played, but I tried to emulate their attitude on the court and their mental strength.
Did you have a goal for the end of the season?
I would love to end the year in the Top 16 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings], so that I can have a good seeding at the Australian Open.
What have you improved this season to break into the Top 20?
I’ve changed the way I worked off the court to be better prepared physically. All the little changes clicked for me in Miami, and since then I’ve been a different player.
Who would you like to acknowledge for helping you to your first title?
I wouldn’t be here today without the help of my coach Emmanuel Planque. He’s the person I would most like to thank for my career to date.