Player Features

Van Assche: A Maths Wizard & Rugby Fan

Frenchman is competing in Jeddah
November 30, 2023
Luca Van Assche is one of two Frenchman at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM.
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Luca Van Assche is one of two Frenchman at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM. By ATP Staff

Luca Van Assche first cracked the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in April the same week he earned his maiden tour-level victory in Estoril. The Frenchman is a three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion and is now debuting at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM.

But what is the 19-year-old like off-court? caught up with the World No. 70 to discuss his perfect day and love for other sports...

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If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
Roger Federer because he's my idol. Arthur Fils because he is my friend. Then I will choose Bjorn Borg because he was one of the best players in another generation.

Do you remember watching Federer when you were growing up? Was there a match or tournament that stands out?
Yeah, I watched a lot of Roger Federer playing tournaments. If I have to think of one match I think it's the final against Rafa in the 2017 Australian Open. He was coming back and it was a pretty good match. I watched so many matches from him, difficult to think of just one.

Describe your perfect day if you are not playing tennis.
I would sleep and I would wake up late, around 9:30 or 10 so I can have a long night but I still have some hours to enjoy my day. Then I would have a good breakfast. I will go to a restaurant with some friends, spend time with my family. Just things with friends, doing some activities or go to the cinema or game or some activities.Then eat some good pizza for dinner.

If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you want?
I think I could be an engineer because I love everything with mathematics and everything. So I think it could be interesting for me. I enjoy doing mathematics and I'm still continuing it at university now.

You’re very early in your career but is that something that after your career you would maybe pursue?
Yeah, of course after my career. I don't really want to be a tennis coach. And maybe I would like to change to learn new things outside the sport. I think that's why I'm continuing my studies and I know that I will have another job after my tennis career.

If you had to choose between attending a music concert or a sporting event, what would you choose and why?
I will choose a sports event. I went twice to a rugby game this past month, the Rugby World Cup in France so maybe that or football, PSG in France. Or maybe Formula 1.

Did you watch France play at the Rugby World Cup?
Yes, I watched two games. One was New Zealand against Ireland and the other one was France against New Zealand.

Who are some of your best friends on Tour?
I think my best friend on tour is Arthur Fils because he's my age, he’s French, I grew up with him. I know him very well. We spent a lot of time together and we have a lot of memories. I am still young, so I don't know everybody and not everybody is from my generation. So for the moment it's him, but maybe in the next years I will have a lot of friends.

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When did you first meet Arthur? When do you first play with him?
I think maybe when I was nine years old we played a tournament and then we played a lot of tournaments together. It was great.

What is the most interesting thing you've done in your life?
This week in Jeddah is an extraordinary experience for us spending time with other players, who I didn't know very well. It's a new country for me, a new civilisation. So it is great experience. It was great to see to see the Old City.

Is there a nice place you’ve been to for holiday?
I went to Venice. I went to Italy a lot. I went for tennis tournaments in Morocco and it was great, another culture from France.

What's one thing you've learned this year on Tour?
I've learned a lot of things. I think I learned that I have the level of the best players in the world. I think I gained a lot of experience because it was my first year on Tour. So I had a lot of new experiences, new matches, new tournaments, new cities. It was very interesting for me and I learned a lot of things through all my matches.

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