TENNISINSIDEOUT.COM PLAYER PROFILE
Name: Lucas Pouille
Val has named him: “Pookie”
Birthday: February 23, 1994
In a nutshell: We first noticed Lucas Pouille way back when he skillfully took out America’s competitive wildcard winner Alex Kuznetsov in the first round of the 2013 French Open, 6-1, 7-6(2), 6-2. Pouille went down in straights the next round to then-ranked #28 Grigor Dimitrov, but pushed one set to a TB.
The soft-spoken French player has substantially improved his game since then, and we can’t help feeling excited about a Frenchie that has a combination of strengths rarer than a unicorn in his country: flair, power, AND a steady on-court temperament. He really turned heads with his Australian Open 2015 appearance, nearly taking out Gael Monfils before his flashier compatriot fought back and finally won by a single break in the fifth set.
Pouille had a breakthrough performance at Wimbledon 2016. Previously he had never gone past the 2nd round of a Slam, this time he made it to the quarterfinals at Wimby with impressive wins over Juan Martin del Potro (who had taken out #4 seed Stan Wawrinka in the previous round) and Bernard Tomic.
The climb in the rankings didn’t stop there. At the USO 2016, Lucas won three consecutive 5-setters, concluding with a stunning 61 26 64 36 76 victory over Slam champ Rafael Nadal in the Round of 16. Unfortunately he was thwarted once again by Monfils, himself having a stellar year that led to an appearance at the World Tour Finals.
For all those who believed in Pouille (which includes us here at TIO), 2017 should be an exciting time. The talented Frenchie ended the year with his first title in Metz, a career-high ranking of #15, and the ATP’s Most Improved Player Award.
When watching young players, we’ll often say things like “He has potential.” The fun of Pouille has been that when we’re watching him, we’re more likely to be shouting, “Holy $%^#!! What. A. Shot!!!” And he looks to be making good on that “potential” in any case.
Get to Know Lucas Through the Eyes of TennisInsideOut.com:
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Anyone who loves pretty French boys has got to be excited by Pookie, as Val was when she saw this photo posted by Hugo Winogradsky:
Some action shots…
Lucas tweets mostly in French, but even if you don’t speak the language, he’s worth a follow for all the news, links, and pictures–it’s quite nicely done as a fandom resource.
— Clara PABAN (@pabanclara) October 30, 2016
— Lucas Pouille (@la_pouille) November 1, 2016
— chloe paquet (@ChloePaquet) February 23, 2015
With our limited French skills and the help of Google
Mangle Translate, we can tell you that our Pookie’s timeline is full of positivity. He acknowledges fan support, bestows compliments readily, jokes around with his friends, and RTs good news and fun posts from fellow players. He also does sweet things like refer to Benoit Paire as “my Ben,” which moves him high up on Val’s list of “Good People.”
Lucas nearly broke tennis twitter when this photo was posted in early 2017…our Pookie is all grown-up now…!
Lucas Pouile at the practice in Tokyo ( photo via FFT/ Antoine Couvercelle ) pic.twitter.com/0FdGiIz9vP
— Rena (@_irenka23_) January 31, 2017
And finally, some awesome videos to give you a sense of the man in motion: