Lucas Pouille: Roger and Rafa won't play forever, we shouldn't just think about them

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Lucas Pouille has once again spoken against the ITF’s plans to overhaul the Davis Cup saying the changes are focused on the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who won’t be around much longer in the game.

Pouille, who avenged his Marseille final defeat to Karen Khachanov last Sunday by ousting the Russian in the Dubai second round on Wednesday, had said after his first round that the proposed changes would be a “death sentence” to the Davis cup.

On Wednesday, the Frenchman expanded on his thoughts on the matter saying: “If we make the final France-Belgium last year in Singapore, there would have been maybe 4,000 people. In France it was 27,000. It’s definitely different.

“Roger and Rafa are not going to play forever. We don’t have to think about only them, like what do we need to do for them to play. They’re not going to stay here for the next 15 years. I’m not sure this is the right way to do.”

Pouille added that his fellow French Davis Cup players share his views.

“I think they think the same as me, like I think a lot of players. I did not say it was not good for tennis, I just say it’s not good for Davis Cup. It’s a particular competition. I think we just need to find another way to make it better,” said the world No. 15, who next faces Yuichi Sugita in the Dubai quarter-finals on Thursday.

“I know it’s not the perfect way right now, but I definitely don’t think it’s going to be good with what they propose.”

Pouille was facing Khachanov for the second time in four days and managed to gain swift revenge against the Marseille champion thanks to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph on Wednesday.

“I knew it will be a tough one. In final in Marseille, he won just three points more than me. I knew it was very close. I had to play some good tennis,” said Pouille.

“We were both I think a little bit tired. So, no, I’m just very happy that I get my revenge today.”

Pouille has won nine of his last 11 matches having captured the title in Montpellier at the start of February, before reaching the final in Marseille and now advancing to the Dubai quarter-finals.

“As long as you win, you get some confidence. It’s better this way. I prefer to win a lot of matches, play a lot, than playing once a week. It’s good,” said the 24-year-old Dubai resident.

“I’m starting to feel better and better here. Hopefully tomorrow I can be 100 per cent. But I know it’s going to be difficult. No, I’m very happy with this month of February so far.”

Meanwhile, former Dubai semi-finalist Borna Coric booked himself a spot in the last-eight with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Benoit Paire. The young Croat next faces No. 3 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-1.

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