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Lucas Pouille's former coach feels he is a real contender to win Slams
The Frenchman made a remarkable run at the Australian Open, but he was dismantled by an in-form Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
Published Feb 04, 2019
Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille can capture a Grand Slam title, says his former coach Emmanuel Planque.
The 24-year-old Pouille defeated Borna Coric and Milos Raonic at Melbourne, then fell in three sets against world No. 1 and eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Pouille is now coached by Amelie Mauresmo, but Planque says the two are still very friendly and he was following his run in Melbourne.
"Lucas is a very good player and I have enjoyed my time with him," Planque told press at the Chennai challenger. "We achieved a lot together but we both felt that it was the correct time for us to part because he needed [to hear something] different, which he has now got with Amelie.
"I was of course very happy to see him in the Australian Open semifinals. Unfortunately Novak was unbeatable this year."
According to Planque, Pouille can go even further at majors.
"Lucas has the talent to win Grand Slams and he works hard," he said. "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."
The veteran coach has previously mentored Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, and is now coaching teenager Corentin Moutet. He helped Pouille get to the Top 10 in 2018 but the Frenchman had a poor season and fell back below the Top 20 in the singles ATP rankings. But Pouille is motivated and back on the right path, adds Planque
"When we started 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," he said. "But the best thing about him was that he never stopped believing in himself. Lucas used to tell me every day, ''One day I am going to be in the Top 10 and I always said if you work hard, and he did it. I am sure he will be back again among the top players."
Pouille will play the Open Sud de France in Montpellier this week. He is seeded No. 1 in a field that includes David Goffin, Denis Shapovalov and Gilles Simon.
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Starting Monday, 2/4 at 1:30 p.m. ET, catch live coverage of the Cordoba Open featuring top seeds Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman.
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Watch Lucas Pouille, Denis Shapovalov and Gilles Simon live on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Tuesday, 2/5 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
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