For nearly two decades, Gilles Muller was the leading force of the Luxembourgian tennis, keeping this small country on the tennis map and earning the Davis Cup Commitment Award. Between 2000-2018, a left-hander with a booming serve and attacking game competed in 31 Davis Cup ties for his country and won 56 rubbers, a number that will stay unmatched by any other player under their flag for many more years.
Now, Gilles has a different role near the court, leading the Luxembourgian Davis Cup squad as the captain and trying to draw the most from the players who are way below his level. "It's tough at some moments because you can't play and also it's tough for me to.
I was playing a different level than the guys that are in my team now and so also I cannot expect things from them that I did," Muller said. "It's tough to find the right balance, to ask them things that are hard for them but not too hard, and that's quite a challenge.
It's tough to sit there and just take losses, even as a captain you don't want to lose. So it wasn't an easy week for me, although we grabbed that one victory. I'm definitely sure I chose the right moment to stop, my body was struggling, I had problems with my elbow and wanted to spend a lot of time with my family at home, with my two boys.
I'm very proud and excited that I had that career but on the other hand, I'm also happy now to live a normal life. It was last year when I was still playing on tour, in Marseille. That was the first time I hit with Stefanos Tsitsipas, and he was really hitting the ball very hard, I was very surprised and also kind of saying, 'Jeez, I just want to warm up, why is this guy hitting so hard?' I like watching him, I'm doing some commentating and I was commentating Washington when he lost in the semi-finals against Kyrgios, and you can see that the crowd likes him a lot. He's a good player and good for tennis."