Luca Van Assche first entered the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in April, the same week he claimed his first ATP Tour victory in Estoril. The Frenchman is a three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion and now makes his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM.
But what is the 19-year-old player like off the court? ATPTour.com talks to the world No. 70 to describe what his perfect day would be like or his passion for other sports…
If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
Roger Federer, because he is my idol. Arthur Fils, because he is my friend. Then, I would choose Bjorn Borg because he was one of the best players of another generation.
Do you remember seeing Federer in your childhood? Is there any tournament or match that you remember in particular?
Yes, I watched a lot of Roger Federer. If I had to think of a match I would say the final against Rafa at the 2017 Australian Open. He came back and it was a very good match. I have seen many of his games, it is difficult to stay with one.
Describe your perfect day, if you’re not playing tennis.
I would sleep and get up late, around 9:30 or 10, so I could extend the night, but I still have hours to enjoy the day. Then I would have breakfast. I would go to a restaurant with my friends, spend time with my family. I would do things with my friends, some activity, go to the movies, play games… Then I would have a pizza for dinner.
If you weren’t a tennis player, what would you like to work on?
I think I would be an engineer because I love everything related to mathematics. So I think it would be interesting for me. I enjoy math and I’m still in college now.
It’s still very early, but what would you do after your career?
Sure, of course, after my career. I don’t want to be a tennis coach. Maybe I would like to change to learn things outside of sports. I think that’s why I continue studying and I know that I will have another job after my tennis career.
If you had to choose between attending a concert or a sporting event, what would you say and why?
I would choose a sporting event. I went to a rugby match twice in the last month, the Rugby World Cup in France, so maybe that or football, watching PSG in France. Or, perhaps, Formula 1.
Did you see France play in the Rugby World Cup?
Yes, I saw two games. One between New Zealand and Ireland and another between France and New Zealand.
Who are your best friends on the circuit?
I think my best friend on the circuit is Arthur Fils because he is my age, he is French and I grew up with him. I know him very well. We spent a lot of time together and have great memories. I’m still young, so I don’t know everyone from my generation. At the moment it’s him, but maybe in the next few years I’ll have many friends.
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When did you meet Arthur? When did you first play with him?
I think we were about nine years old when we played a tournament and then we played a lot of tournaments together. It was great.
What is the most interesting thing you have done in your life?
This week in Jeddah is an extraordinary experience for us, sharing time with other players, who I didn’t know very well. It is a new country for me, a new civilization. So it’s a great experience. It was great to see the old town.
Is there a nice place you’ve gone on vacation?
I went to Venice. I have gone to Italy a lot. I also went to tennis tournaments in Morocco and it was great, another culture different from France.
What have you learned on the circuit this year?
I have learned a lot of things. I think I learned that I must have the level of the best players in the world. I think I gained a lot of experience because it was my first year on the circuit. So I have a lot of new experiences, new matches, new tournaments, new cities. It was very interesting for me and I learned a lot of things from all my matches.