Lucas Pouille reveals 'the wake-up call' that revived his career from the dead

Pouille battled depression and started drinking alcohol last year.

by Dzevad Mesic
Lucas Pouille reveals 'the wake-up call' that revived his career from the dead

Lucas Pouille, 29, reveals seeing the reception and sendoff Gilles Simon received at Paris Masters last year was "the wake-up call" he needed to reignite the spark for his career. Also, Pouille revealed that being told by the press he "would never represent France at the Olympics" motivated him to prove those doubters wrong.

Pouille, who battled depression and started drinking alcohol last year, has sealed a French Open main draw spot after winning three qualifying matches this week. "Nothing kept me going last year. In my mind I stopped playing tennis.

Then seeing Gilles Simon playing his last matches in Paris, seeing the atmosphere, the emotions. It was the wake-up call. Also, the press told me you'll never play in the Olympics in your career, it gave me the extra motivation to come back.

This year I started mentally fresh, I needed that. Hopefully I can have five, six great more years to get back to where I was, or close to that," Pouille said, per the French Open website.

What happened to Pouille in 2022?

Pouille, a former world No 10, picked up a sixth consecutive defeat in 2022 June and after that didn't appear in any tournaments for the rest of the year.

Earlier this year, Pouille confessed that during that period he was battling depression and started drinking alcohol. In late 2022, former world No 6 Simon played the final tournament of his career at the Paris Masters - where he stunned Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz before losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Throughout the entire tournament, the Parisian crowd stood behind Simon and the Frenchman responded by turning back the clock and delivering some vintage performances to pull off a few upsets. Seeing Simon's heroics in Paris motivated Pouille to return to tennis.

This week, Pouille won three qualifying matches at Roland Garros. Qualifying for the French Open is certainly a big thing for Pouille and will definitely give the Frenchman a major boost of confidence.

Lucas Pouille