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Alizé Lim balances bourgeoning media career with tennis dream
The Academy Life host and former Top 150 player hopes for a comeback even as a new chapter has begun in earnest.
Published Oct 13, 2021
When Alizé Lim was approached to host Academy Life, a Tennis Channel International original series, it was a no-brainer.
“Every time someone has come to me with a media opportunity, I’ve been happy to do it because I’ve tended to see these things as a bonus, because tennis is my priority,” she began in a phone interview on Tuesday. “This one was immediately inspiring because when I was little, my dream was to train at an academy and I couldn’t.”
The project, which took Lim across Europe to present viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the likes of Rafael Nadal, Patrick Mouratoglou, and Magnus Norman’s training grounds, also represented a shift in her own mindset, having long struggled to balance her dual identities of tennis player and media personality.
“At the very beginning, I didn’t feel comfortable and almost felt a little ashamed because I enjoyed doing them but didn’t want to show it. I worried it would make it appear as though I wasn’t serious about my tennis, or that I wasn’t professional.”
The 28-year-old has indeed taken on more media opportunities of late, both due to recurring injuries and to the onset of the global pandemic. Last fall, she hosted an interview series for the Mouratoglou imprint Tennis Majors where she’s chatted with champions like Venus Williams, Bianca Andreescu, and Stan Wawrinka.
With each experience, Lim grows in comfort, confidence, and in her ability to excel off the court.
“As I grew up, I realized that it was ok for me enjoy other things and be curious about life outside tennis. It has been so enriching for me to have these experiences, and I’m only more and more grateful and proud to have had these opportunities. I’ve been able to absorb different things from so many people and situations, and be curious about learning new things.
“I try to be a good media student. I have my papers where I’m studying as much as I can before I interview people because I’m a perfectionist. I can ask people any question I want and they have to answer! I feel privileged in that way.”
Even as her post-career life is in full bloom, the French star is still weighing her options for an on-court comeback, undergoing treatments for a persistent wrist injury.
“I haven’t played on tour for about a year, and it’s so hard to come back from zero, ranking and money-wise. I still love tennis; it’s still my first passion and I feel I have it in my blood. I just can’t let go because I miss it and playing tournaments.
“I’m trying to make a small room for tennis in my life where I’m training three times a week and playing some tournaments in France. I’ll see if that gives me enough adrenaline to where I can maintain some relationship in tennis.
"I’m not saying I’m officially done with the tour because I know myself and when I start training and playing well, I’ll likely feel like signing up for ITFs and that will get addicted to the competition. I just don’t want to get too disappointed if I get injured, so it’s a tough mental balance at the moment.”
Academy Life premieres October 13 on Tennis Channel International.