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ATP – Constant Lestienne, top 100 at 30: “A dream since childhood” #Lestienne #ConstantLestienne #Tennis #ATP #FFT

Always believe in your dreams. Constant Lestienne never gave up and is finally rewarded. This Monday, the Habs, 30, is for the first time in his career a member of the Top 100. He is 90th in the world. A remarkable achievement from a player who has not been spared from injury but who has always believed in his dream of being among the top 100 players on the planet. Everything happened very quickly with an exceptional start to the summer for the protege of Julien Varlet who was 236th in the world at the start of February and 174th on June 6.

Constant Lestienne discussed the Top 100 with Tennis Actu

Titerated to Málaga early July then PozoblancoPicard then did the job with a final last week at Segovia to make one of his dreams come true. This Monday, he is ranked 90th in the world. You will have to go through the qualifications at theUS Open but a direct entry into the big picture of theAustralian Open is well underway. For Tennis News, the native of Amiens looked back on his crazy month of July, this entry into the Top 100, the obstacles of recent seasons and the next objectives. Interview conducted on Friday.

“The Top 100 was almost an end goal. It’s been my dream since I was little”

Since the beginning of June, a semi-final and two Challenger titles. Everything seems to be going well, have you ever felt this good?

Yes, I have already felt so good tennistically but emotionally, I have passed a milestone. I feel very serene, I have confidence, I tolerate faults better. I don’t know what happened but we will say that the thirties bring maturity and experience (smile).

The Top 100 has arrived. What does it mean to have passed this symbolic milestone?

It was almost an end goal. It’s been my dream since childhood. My career is correct, I’m between 200 and 180. There to have exploded and cross the Top 100, it’s really nice. I feel like I can go a lot higher and aim for the Top 50. When I see the guys in there, I’ve played them all. There are extra-terrestrials, but there are also within our reach, we are my compatriots. It’s great !

“My tennis hasn’t changed that much. I’m the same person. Maybe more serious at 30 than at 22”

How do you explain that at 30, you are having the best season of your career?

At 30, we imagine an old man who hurts all over, which is not false… (smile) 30 years means 7 or 8 years on the Challenger circuit, a lot of matches, a lot of defeats, questioned. Towards the end of your career, you want to let go of the horses. I would say that it happens on scenarios that go in the right direction. In Malaga, I won the title by saving match points on the course and being well behind. If I lose, maybe nothing happens. Tennis is played on details and now I’m riding the wave. I feel like if I play well, I can beat everyone. This confidence is different from last season.

Beyond a physical or mental change, do you really think that success is finally turning on your side?

I think. My tennis hasn’t changed that much. I progressed in the service but afterwards these are opportunities to be seized. I am the same person. Maybe more serious at 30 than at 22. I’ve been very serious for 2-3 years, joint mobility, stretching, recuperation… These are things that have helped.

We see more and more players hatch late. Did it inspire you?

Yes clearly. To see a lot of players arrive in their best moments at 30… I think those of 21 who arrive quickly, they are monsters. Maturity comes at 25 and those who come before are monsters. Me, it’s very good to have reached this stage and I hope to go higher.

“Nobody believed in me I think”

Did you have any doubts? Did you think about giving up or did you tell yourself you couldn’t?

Especially physically… Tennistically, I was often told that I had the level. It’s frustrating because you’re told so often and you can’t do it so you feel like a failure to people. If I’m still playing, it’s because I think I could do it. The road is long, I didn’t think it would go so fast. I provoked luck and fate a bit.

Did it bother you to be told that you had the level?

Nope ! I had a lot of hindsight. Only those close to me really know me. Afterwards, a stat ‘which is true: since I was 17, this is my first year where I have played without being injured between January and July. I picked up the pace, I continued. Physical problems did not allow me to exploit my potential before.

What motivates you every morning? Do you have a taste for revenge compared to those who did not believe in you?

It can be used as a motor. Nobody believed in me I think. Even my family doubted sometimes when I was playing badly, when I was on the street. I have always believed in it and my relatives have supported me a lot. What motivates me is to access the big tournament, those we see on TV. I never reached the Grand Slam tables. My two goals have always been to be in the Top 100 once and to play a Grand Slam. I’ll be happy if I do that. This is what motivates me every day.

“Do a season on the ATP circuit, take shelter in the top 100 and stay there until the end of my career”

Your ranking is not taken into account at the US Open. You will have to go through the qualifications. Is playing your first Grand Slam table, like “a big one”, THE big goal for the end of the season?

Yes yes. The satisfaction of qualifying for a Grand Slam I think is greater than the ranking. After the match point, it must be crazy. The emotions to qualify, I would like to know it.

Do you dream of these qualifiers more than the big picture in Melbourne, for example?

Yes yes ! I’ve been trying to qualify for 5-6 years and haven’t succeeded. It would be an accomplishment. I now know what I am capable of. I pushed myself into a corner and I didn’t think I would answer like that.

Secured the table in Melbourne and regaining the ATP circuit, is that also the course for the end of 2022?

Cape Town is truly being tableau in Australia. I still have 150 points to defend. I still have to win games. If I assure that, I will qualify for ATP to make me happy.

Are you going to secure the Challenger points or try the ATP circuit?

In France, we have really top Challengers. I also really want to play ATP 250 or even 500 qualifiers. I’m going to mix things up a bit.

In conclusion, what is your dream now and has it changed?

Make a season on the ATP circuit, take shelter in the top 100 and stay there until the end of my career.

Does it change the length of your career?

No no ! I love the life of a tennis player. Whether I’m 300 or 70, I’ll play until the end because it’s so good!


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