The postponed Tour de France, the Tokyo Olympics too, the football championships stopped … In tennis too, players are waiting, frustrated, disillusioned and worried because they are wondering more and more s ‘They will find their way to competition one day soon. Lucas Pouille is one of the first to take a stand. For him, we are heading straight for a white season.
Lucas Pouille: We play all year round to play tournaments, win titles and big games. Now I don’t want to train for five months without being sure to start again in September for example. Right now my goal is to try to stay in shape and not start from scratch when I have to start training again. It’s my aim. It’s been seven months since I played on the circuit. [He injured his elbow at the end of last season.]
And in addition you are not going to play before July, which means for you ten months of inactivity?
Hopefully (Laughs)… But I think it’s a pretty bad start to resume in July but you have to be patient to be ready and mentally fresh to be able to resume.
Do you think we are headed for a season cancellation?
I strongly believe in it. I am not for it, on the contrary. I really want and I can’t wait for the season to resume so that we can replay games, feel the pressure and all the adrenaline we have during competitions. Unfortunately, as it stands, I don’t see how tennis can resume. We are a sport a little different from the others, in the sense that every week we play in a different country, sometimes on a different continent.
Same for Spaniards who could not come to France. From the moment there is not this freedom to travel as desired, for me the circuit can not resume. And the proof also is that the Australian Open (note: from January 18 to 31, 2021) is already thinking of playing behind closed doors. They (the organizers) are already talking about quarantining players for 14 days upon arrival in Melbourne. So if they’re already talking about it, it’s because they may have some info. They may think that it will be very complicated.
Is it only your opinion or other players think the same as you?
I think most people think the same. When you see how quickly the disease is spreading right now, all the deaths and all the people infected, it’s going to be very complicated for the United States (to organize tournaments). It’s very complicated for us, for Spain, for Italy… I’ve read that containment started in South America. It affects the whole world and from the moment it affects the whole world, it will take a lot, a long time before it becomes normal and everything becomes as before.
Do you still manage to project yourself or not at all?
Not at all … Because until we have a 95% sure date of recovery, for my part it will be impossible to project myself. For the moment, they (editor’s note: ATP) put on July 13 but I do not see how it will be possible.