2017 Wimbledon player profile: Lucas Pouille

The grass-court loving Frenchman arrives at SW19 as a firm underdog in his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title.

2017 Wimbledon player profile: Lucas Pouille
Pouille in action in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2016 (Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe)

The 23-year-old Lucas Pouille will be looking to build upon his impressive quarterfinal display at Wimbledon last summer when he returns to the All-England Club next week.

Pouille surprised many when he staved off Juan Martin del Potro and a then-blossoming Bernard Tomic en route to the last eight and his trajectory since leaving his mark at SW19 suggest the Frenchman could go one better this time around.

A champion on the lawns of Stuttgart just two weeks ago, Pouille will be hoping his improved ranking (15) lends itself to a kinder draw as he chases major glory.

Previous results

Much of the surprise surrounding Pouille’s run to the quarterfinals was based on his previous outing at Wimbledon.

The 22-year-old had only made the main draw in London once – the previous year – and that was ended in the first round by the South African Kevin Anderson, 2-6, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6.

His career-best at a Grand Slam had been a second round showing at the French Open just a month prior to that.

That record was quickly smashed, however, when he made light work of Romania’s Marius Copil and the American Donald Young in the opening two rounds.

Pouille then notched a considerable upset when he defeated an admittedly “exhausted” del Potro in the third round, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 6-1.

He was then pushed to the brink in a five-set thriller with Tomic, prevailing 10-8 in the fifth to set-up a quarterfinal showdown by Tomas Berdych.

The Czech, however, proved a step too far in the end but the Frenchman has continued on his upward curve since then.

Pouille hoists the Mercedes Cup (Photo: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images Europe)
Pouille hoists the Mercedes Cup (Photo: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images Europe)

Productive twelve months

He reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open only a few months later and scored a memorable triumph over Rafael Nadal in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

His first ATP title followed in Metz where he knocked off Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the final and a career-high singles rankings followed.

A respectable showing at the Paris Masters in November saw Pouille collect the ATP award for the Most Improved Player of 2016.

A foot injury plagued the opening month of the Frenchman’s season as he exited the Brisbane International early and departed from the Australian Open in the first round to 20-year-old Alexander Bublik.

His season slowly began to show signs of life when he reached the final in Marseille and he claimed his first title on clay at the Hungarian Open with a win over Britain’s Aljaz Bedene.

Although his clay court season concluded with a disappointing third round exit at Roland Garros – he led Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-1 before surrendering in five sets – he kick-started his grass court season in fine fashion.

Glory in Stuttgart

He came from a set down to defeat Feliciano Lopez in the final of the Mercedes Cup – an achievement all the better considering the Spaniard’s success at the Queen’s Club the following week.

Pouille has now claimed a title on each of the three surfaces and has leapfrogged Gael Monfils as the second-seeded French player on the tour.

Solid off both wings, the Frenchman’s game is well-suited to grass and his confidence will be simmering after a productive week in Germany.

He was scheduled to face world number one Andy Murray in an exhibition event at the Hurlington Club on Tuesday but the Brit withdrew citing a hip problem.

Pouille is undoubtedly one to keep an eye during Wimbledon.

Tennis