This time last year, Pouille was ranked No88 in the world and needed to play in the qualifying rounds before he reached fell in his main draw opener to Vasek Pospisil.
Today, the 23-year-old Frenchman is ranked No15 and seeded No7 in the Dubai tournament after a stellar 2016 saw him rocket up the standings.
“Well, I guess it’s going to be like this for a few months,” Pouille said with a smile.
“I mean, I hope so, for a few years. It’s good. It means I had a good year. I had a lot of victories and all this stuff. Yeah, obviously I’m very happy to come back here this year.”
Pouille had to deal with a quick turnaround between his final appearance in Marseille on Sunday and his first round in Dubai on Tuesday afternoon.
He lost to Tsonga in an all-French final in the south of France, then both finalists attended a football game between Olympique Marseille and Paris Saint-German together that evening before Pouille took a flight to Dubai and landed Monday night.
“It was a good week (in Marseille). I arrived yesterday around 8:30 or 9:00, so couldn’t get used to the conditions, but, yeah, today I think I was solid enough to win. I’m very happy with the win,” said Pouille, who next faces Romanian qualifier Marius Copil.
Pouille, a Dubai resident, spent time practicing with Roger Federer here in the Emirates during the offseason but suffered a foot injury early in the year that saw him retire from his second match in Brisbane and crash out of the Australian Open in the first round.
“Well, we always learn, but obviously it was not easy to get injured second match of the year after good preparation,” said Pouille, who added that he’s feeling fit now.
“I tried my best. I mean, we tried our best with my team to get ready for Australia. It was not possible.
“But now we did all we have to be ready here and for rest of the season. I’m very happy.”