Against all odds, Lucas Pouille, currently ranked at an unassuming No. 675 in the world, staged a triumphant return at this year’s French Open. After a turbulent period away from the court battling personal struggles, his victory sent a wave of inspiration throughout the crowd, culminating in an unforgettable group chorus of the French national anthem.
Pouille Overcomes Personal Issues to Win at Roland Garros
For four long years, the once World No. 10 fell into obscurity. His trials with depression and alcoholism threatened to overshadow his professional tennis career. However, Lucas Pouille emerged stronger, his fight mirroring the spirit of the stirring anthem ‘La Marseillaise.’
Earning his spot in the tournament’s main draw through a grueling qualifying round, Pouille showed grit and determination. After defeating Tomas Machac, Chun-Hsin Tseng, and Jurij Rodionov, he secured his entry into the French Open.
Facing lucky loser, Rodionov again in the first round, Pouille proved triumphant with a decisive 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 victory. With this win, he etched his name in the annals of the French Open, becoming the lowest-ranked player to progress to the second round since 2013. This hard-earned success reminded fans and opponents alike of the tenacity of the former top-tier player.
Pouille Leads the Crowd in Rousing Rendition of ‘La Marseillaise’
But it was the scenes after his victory that truly underscored the emotional magnitude of Pouille’s comeback. Enthralled in the moment of triumph, he led the crowd in a heartfelt performance of the French national anthem. Emotion-charged, it served as a unifying gesture, epitomizing the shared joy and fervor of the crowd.
Lucas Pouille singing La Marseillaise (French National Anthem) with the Roland-Garros crowd on Court 14 to celebrate his first Grand Slam win in four years 🥲 pic.twitter.com/JhbvWZutfx
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) May 28, 2023
Reflecting on the moment, Pouille recounted his desire to extend the moment, to “live these emotions” with his supporters. His words, laced with gratitude, paid tribute to the crowd’s unwavering support that rallied with him from the opening serve to the final point.
“Tonight that was something I really wanted to share with them,” Pouille said. “I wanted to stay on court as much as possible in order to live these emotions with them and really make the most of every single minute with them on court. The energy was just incredible. It was so many good emotions.”
Pouille’s remarkable journey and stirring anthem rendition was not just a celebration of his victory, but a testament to his resilience and the support of his home crowd. His joy, marked by the outpouring of national pride, has rekindled the hope and expectation of his supporters as he gears up to face Cameron Norrie in the tournament’s second round.
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