BENGALURU: Growing up in the picturesque Mauritius, known majorly for its beaches, Enzo Couacaud, ranked 161 in the ATP currently, had a tough call to make as a 14-year-old. The French-Mauritian player could stay back in his home country and enjoy a nice life or move to France and pursue his tennis dream. Enzo, who learned to play in his home country, chose the latter, wanting to see if the move would work in his tennis development.
Enzo knew training in France would open the window of opportunities for him. Initially, he gave himself a year in France and its new lifestyle. It worked gradually as realised that he could give it a shot on the tour.
With a couple of Challenger titles against his name, including the Gran Canaria title last year, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Enzo was also given a wild card at the 2021 French Open, and he defeated Egor Alekseyevich Gerasimov in the first round before losing to Pablo Carreño Busta in the second.
The French professional player is also making the right noises at the Bengaluru Open. He secured a semifinal spot after top seed Jiri Vesely quit his match due to stomach ache caused by food poisoning. Enzo was leading 6-4 in the first set then.
In fact, travelling for tournaments has been a regular thing for the player, who listened to his elder brother while making an important choice - home or abroad.
"If you stay in Mauritius, you cannot play on the tour. It is too far away to go and play tournaments, it also gets very expensive. Everything is a ten hours flight and so on. My elder brother had the same choices as I had, but he was scared to leave Mauritius. When the chance came to me some years later, I also did not want to go. But, my brother pushed me as he regrets that he did not go. He helped me a lot to make the decision," said Enzo, who spent four years at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France.
The 26-year-old is aware of the interest in the sport among the kids in Mauritius. He hopes to help them, and has a desire to play for Mauritius, but as of now Enzo is happy as a French player.
"At the moment no (not thinking about playing for Mauritius), I am happy with the French federation. They helped me a lot throughout my career. But, yes, I have this desire one day, to be able to play for Mauritius, maybe with my brother being a part of the coaching staff or something. I want to create something around tennis there, because there are a lot of kids who are eager to play over there. They do not have anything or anyone to look upto so maybe someday I will do it, but not in the near future," said Enzo.
Myneni-Ramanathan in doubles final
Third seeds Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan have reached the finals of the doubles event, defeating Jay Clarke and Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-4, 6-4 on Friday. They will meet the French pair Hugo Grenier and Alexandre Muller in the title decider on Saturday.