“How did you feel about your last appearance as a professional player ?
During the game it was difficult, because I was drained and my body was not responding. I was trying to push but I felt very early on that it would be hard. I expected that. I tried to play a little differently in the second set, to score as many plays as possible, to make the audience appreciate this last time a little more, but I was too far.
And a few minutes later, how do you feel?
Empty, still (smile), and injured in the left leg, but now I don’t care because I don’t need it anymore. I’m very tired and I think it also helps to stay calm and relaxed, because I still feel a lot of emotions swirling around and I’m too tired to deal with it (smiles).
In the end, you did not seem totally overwhelmed by emotion, precisely.
I was calmer than I thought, let’s say, but the fatigue helped. I am serene because I was sure of my decision. And every game this week reminded me why I was sure. The stress of the matches, the post-match pain, and then when it comes together. It was getting hard to bear. I do not regret. In two matches, I come out completely drained. Part of me is relieved that it’s over, but there are so many things that I loved.
Tennis has always been my passion, I always wanted to be a player, that’s why I say I was lucky, and lucky to play for a long time, I insist. But it’s not like it’s all about happiness, from eight in the morning to bedtime. Some of the things that are going to stop I’m not going to miss. I won’t miss the pre-game chicken and white rice, I won’t miss the airports, I have a list like this…
“There is indeed the desire to transmit”
And conversely, what will you miss?
Just play tennis. I played all the time, I love it, if I stop it’s because I’m no longer able to do it and it hurts too much. No matter what I do after, in my head, I will be a tennis player. If I was in good shape and could play normally, I would play twenty more years.
And now, are you going to turn to the transmission, as you have already mentioned the wish for the past few years?
I wrote a book (“Ce sport qui mad”) which was used to talk about what I identified as a lack in us, in our vision of tennis, in our training, to win great titles . It had no other claim than to be written, and I put it there, and then you do what you want with it. I registered for the DE (State Diploma) training this year. Besides, on Monday I’m in training, it’s going to sting! But it’s not to train the following year. What I want to do is still not clear, but there is indeed the desire to transmit.
I have not determined the form, nor when. Because right now there’s something more important than passing on and that’s my family. It will pass later. I will first stay at home, try to enjoy as much as possible, and I have time. It will be decided in the year or two that come. And I train, while waiting. »