French tennis star Lucas Pouille has acknowledged that he is now taking his health much more seriously and he doesn't want to put himself in positions where his health could be jeopardized. Pouille, a former world No.
10, underwent a season-ending surgery in late 2019 but hoped to be ready for the start of the 2020 season. Unfortunately that wasn't the case as Pouille kicked off his 2020 season at the Indian Wells Challenger in March, just days before the Tour got suspended.
After playing only matches at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June, Pouille withdrew from the rest of the tournament and announced he would be undergoing an elbow surgery. The Frenchman missed the rest of the season and ended up playing only one tournament in 2020.
"It took a while before I could serve normally without having problems elsewhere. Before, when I had pain, I didn't care, I would grit my teeth and play. Now I'm more careful, especially with my right shoulder, elbow and wrist," Pouille said in his interview with Le Parisien, as revealed by AnnaK_4ever/Twitter.
Pouille revealed there was fear
Before his elbow surgery, Pouille admitted there was fear as he described it as a "delicate surgery." "The surgery is not trivial and the elbow is a very delicate joint, especially in tennis.
So yes, it scares me to never be able to serve 100% again, to be in pain afterwards. There is this fear, but I trust my surgeon and the people around me," Pouille said back then. Pouille, now ranked at No. 71 in the world, plans to take a slow approach to his comeback and he won't be putting too much pressure and expectations at himself.
"I will not panic if the results don't come right away," Pouille acknowledged. Pouille also spoke about not having French peers competing with or against him on the tour level. Pouille mentioned rising French star Ugo Humbert as someone he loves to train with.
"If we can train together more often it can only do me good. [Humbert] has enthusiasm, desire and incredible level of play that will take him far. I hope he and [other young Frenchies] all play well and achieve great results.
When someone does better than you it motivates you," Pouille said. Pouille also reflected on his burnout in early 2018 as he said: "I had a good start to the yeat but I was on the edge... By March that year there was nothing left."