Frenchman Corentin Moutet is only 20, and he has played just 40 tour-level matches in his young career. But the #NextGenATP star is wise beyond his years, and is already thinking about more than wins and losses.
“I want to try to inspire many people around the world when they are watching tennis, just to make them like this sport. I want to be remembered as a fighter, as a player who never gives up and gives everything on the court,” Moutet told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “[There are] always bad moments and good moments, but [I am] always here to play until the last point to inspire many people and make them want to push more in their life. I want them to believe in themselves.”
Moutet, the No. 75 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has long had people who believed in him. The lefty’s mother bought him a racquet when he was two. His parents, brother and sister are not quite as into tennis as he is, but they have been there to support his dreams from the beginning.
“It’s important when you begin, you can share your passion with all the people you love, so that’s always really good,” Moutet said. “I like to share good moments and bad moments as well, of course. But the good moments, [sharing them] with my family and my friends is really important to me.
“I’ve really enjoyed this game since the first day I remember. All my friends were playing, all my family, so it was always a shared moment together.”
Moutet is making his fair share of sacrifices; his childhood friends are going to school in France, while he is traveling the world to compete on the ATP Tour. But for this year’s Doha finalist, it’s worth it, and he has plenty of support from those friends.
“All my friends are doing school and other things, but they understand that I can’t go out all the time and I can’t do student life. I can’t have fun every day and every night. I have to focus on tennis,” Moutet said. “They understand that, so it’s much easier for me.”
When Moutet was 12, he moved to southern France to enhance his training with the help of the French federation, and then he started travelling internationally.
“I just saw that there are many players around the world and not only in France. I had some tough losses, but I learned a lot,” Moutet said. “It’s because of those losses that I managed to improve my game.”
The piano-playing Moutet presses all they keys on court, too, showing no fear of the forecourt, with the drop shot and volley his favourite shots. His all-court skills have helped make him the fifth-youngest player in the world’s Top 100.
“You just start to play tennis and then year by year, you just continue to play and you’re getting better and better. You win some matches, and it’s fun. It’s fun to win matches and see how the players [you have known for] a long time are improving as well,” Moutet said. “It’s an inspiring life. You learn every day about yourself and about the others.”
Moutet prides himself on his competitive edge. He knows that every moment won’t go the way he hopes, but he wants to inspire others to battle through those tough times and give their all no matter what.
“I like the tough moments on the court, when you’re feeling bad and you are under pressure,” Moutet said. “On court it’s uncomfortable, but at the end you just learn about yourself and you are a better person at the end of the day, a better player… it’s good for the mind to open your mind, challenging myself every day.”