Roland-Garros – Laurent Lokoli, 5 years later: “I shouldn’t have been” #Lokoli #RolandGarros # RG22 #LaurentLokoli #Tennis

Laurent Lokoli27, 279th player in the world in today’s ATP rankings, has returned to Roland Garros… Five years after its last appearance Porte d’Auteuil in 2017 … “And to say that he had stopped playing tennisthey have entrusted us Laurent Lokoli which had started in 2019 unclassified. It’s a rebirth!“Meeting with Laurent Lokoli before playing his first qualifying round for this Roland-Garros 2022 against Switzerland on Tuesday Alex Ritschard.

Laurent Lokoli before playing this Roland-Garros 2022!

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The wildcard prize for Roland Garros the most touching goes without a doubt Laurent Lokoli. At the age of 27, the heart has experienced doubts and has been able to rebuild itself. On April 30, after his title earned $ 25,000 Weather in Santa Magherita di Pula -which allowed him to climb the 278th in the world- he had not hidden that he was waiting for a “good newsThe FFT press release, sent Tuesday at 5:15 p.m., filled him with joy and pride. He arrived in Paris on Friday with his Elite ZV team.

“I had lost the flame”

It’s been 5 years, I’m very excited to return to Roland. It’s my favorite tournament, so it’s important for me to play it as often as possible. With my classification at the beginning of the year, I was far from finished. I am very happy to be here and thank the federation for inviting me. “Far from winning, as the question of stopping had even been asked:”It was etched in my head, I had stopped even though I hadn’t announced it to avoid questionss. It took me months. During this time, I did not miss the competition. And overnight, I felt like it. I went through a lot of emotions on a professional and personal level. I had a complicated five years, many tornadoes. It was rewarding but really hard. “

Now I’m well surrounded, by people who believe in me. That’s what allowed me to start the season off right and hopefully keep up the momentum. I think I had lost the flame inside me. It’s the taste of competition, of confronting others, of being able to make people vibrate. Athletes often say “when I lose this, I’ll stop,” that’s what happened to me. And I signed up for Monastir by chance and realized I still hated losing so much. I told myself that I could still give and that I still had to prove. “

Five years since I had stepped on it Roland Garros. From that damn match against Martin Klizan in 2017. Angry with the Slovak, he refused to shake his hand after an enraged defeat (7-6, 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4). Laurent Lokoli had returned to two rounds everywhere but had not been able to give the blow. This match and subsequent comments had hurt him. He had even experienced a descent into hell to the point of disappearing from the ATP rankings in early 2019.

The idea is to be able to enter this type of tournament with my ranking. I said that when I was 19, then I had a lot of air pockets. I am far from what I would like to achieve in my career. If I sacrificed everything to get back, it’s because I want to go beyond what I’ve ever done. This Roland is a good gift from the federation even though others say I deserved it for my results. It’s fabulous. It is a step in my path to be able to integrate the Top 250, the Top 200, etc. I have a great opportunity and I will do my best to take advantage of it. I’m very happy to be back. “

“It’s a rebirth at 27”

These ratings will remind him of his 2014 epic. Driven by a rather extraordinary atmosphere, he had successively eliminated the Lithuanian. Laurynas Grigelisthe Russian Evgeni Donskoy and Serbian Filip Krajinovic. At the final table, he had only yielded in five rounds against Steve Johnson, then 64th in the world.

“I feel very comfortable at Roland, anything can happen. I am aware that I may lose. It is true that it is Roland but it is still a tennis tournament. The public will help me in difficult times. French tennis? Are we more up to standard? of the four monsters but there are people and he plays really well. to me. I could never have expected that at the age of 27. He had to show that we can trust me. “

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