Lucas Pouille ready to win a Slam, says former coach

Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille's former coach Emmanuel Planque is confident that the Frenchman will win a Grand Slam in the near future.

File Photo: Planque and Pouille during the 2017 French Open.   -  Getty Images

France’s Lucas Pouille produced one of the breakthrough performances at the Australian Open last month where he made the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. The 24-year-old is currently coached by compatriot and former champion Amelie Mauresmo. But a lot of credit for Pouille's development would have to go to Emmanuel Planque, his former coach who is currently in Chennai with another young promising Frenchman Corentin Moutet, the 19-year old second seed at the ATP Chennai Open challenger.

In a chat with reporters on Sunday, Planque, who came to Chennai with Pouille in 2014 for a Challenger event, recalled his association with the current World No 17, when he was at the junior level.

“We achieved a lot together but we both felt that it was the correct time for us to part because he needed a different voice which he has now got with Amelie. But we are still very close. He is like my son and I am like his second father so I was of course very happy to see him in the Australian Open semifinals.”

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“Unfortunately he lost to Djokovic who was unbeatable but we will see for the French Open. I think he is going to be ready to win a Slam. I don't if it is going to be this year or next but he is going to be one of the players who can win a Slam.”

Lucas Pouille made it to the men's singles semifinal at the 2019 Australian Open where he was beaten by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.   -  GETTY IMAGES



Talking about Pouille’s progression, Planque said, “when we started out he was just 18 and we took it to step by step. Every day was a new day and a new chance to improve. We did it very slowly but that was my style and finally, we cracked the top 10 last year.”

Under Planque, Pouille reached a career high of 10 in the world last year and had earlier made his mark in 2016 beating Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. But for his former coach, the fondest memory was when the current world number 17 defeated Steve Darcis in the fifth and deciding tie of the 2017 Davis Cup final against Belgium in Lille.