Three weeks ago, he brought together more than 5 million French people in front of their TV set, during a round of 16 narrowly lost at Roland Garros against the world No. 3, Dominic Thiem. This Saturday, he resumes competition in the anonymity of a secondary tournament, that of Hamburg (Germany). In the meantime, Hugo Gaston has changed status: the Toulousain has become the new headliner of French tennis in need of an icon. “The days that followed Roland-Garros were very agitated in the media,” admits his coach Marc Barbier.
The young tennis player (20 years old), who still lives with his parents in Fonsorbes (suburb of Toulouse), notably got acquainted with a field which was until then foreign to him: the television sets, like that of “Quotidien” (TMC ) with Yann Barthès, or even the radio studios, with the “Moscato Show” (RMC) which he visited. “He really enjoyed it, they were moments of relaxation and the atmosphere was very relaxed,” confides his father, Thierry. He takes what happens to him with a lot of hindsight. He knew it could happen to him. And he lets his agent manage all the requests: he had more than 100 requests in the days following Roland-Garros! “
The boy, very mature for his age, seems to experience what is happening to him with great serenity. “He is very well surrounded, especially by his family and his parents,” notes his trainer. His father, president of the club that saw him start, in Fonsorbes, and his mother, who is part of the club office, have always lived in a tennis environment. Hugo, who touched his first racket at the age of 3, has followed the usual training of a top athlete.
Top 100 goal and Australian Open
After Roland-Garros, Hugo Gaston also changed clubs. He left Blagnac, where he arrived at the age of 9, to join Stade Toulouse. There he will find his physical trainer, Kevin Blandy, and better infrastructure. But also greater financial and material support. Not negligible for a young high-level athlete who is living there his first years of career, and who has to bear numerous expenses (travel, hotels, staff, etc.), while his ambition is to quickly enter the world top 100. Thanks to his performance on Parisian clay, he has already jumped from 239th to 157th place in the ATP ranking. He should benefit from an invitation for the next Masters 1000 in Paris. Before trying his luck at the Australian Open in January.
After Roland Garros, Gaston had a week’s rest and then went back to work. “We have increased the intensity in recent days so as to put him back in the shoes of a real tennis player,” said Marc Barbier. Even though he did something exceptional at Roland, there is life after all of it. We want him to resume his career. He will have to show maturity on the field but also outside. Gaston will now have to face the new look of his opponents in particular: no one will be surprised by his cushioning (58 during his 5 sets against Thiem!). “He will have to learn to adapt,” concludes his trainer. And assume his new status.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr