Lucas Pouille says he has benefitted massively from training with Roger Federer

Frenchman Lucas Pouille believes he has benefitted tremendously from his training with the Swiss Roger Federer during the off-season.

The 23-year-old advanced to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters with a 6-0, 3-6, 7-5 triumph over the tricky Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas on Friday and will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot in Sunday’s final.

The pair practiced together in Dubai while Federer continued his recovery from a knee injury and Pouille believes the 18-time Grand Slam champion’s wisdom has improved his game.

Hails importance

Federer’s will to win and desire to improve has bore fruit in 2017, with the 35-year-old having reigned supreme at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami despite a six-month lay-off.

Pouille said: “I practiced with him a number of times, sometimes for long sessions.

“We were playing tennis and doing physical training.

"Every time you are on the court with him, you learn things. He's always trying to improve something.

“Being on the court with him teaches me a lot. I'm really lucky to be able to have those trainings with him.”

Pouille leaps for joy after a hard-fought victory (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)
Pouille leaps for joy after a hard-fought victory (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe)

Tricky encounter

The Frenchman reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year but was made to sweat for his place in the last four by Cuevas.

He bageled the South American in the opening set but Cuevas found a foothold in set two, forcing a decider with a blend of supreme defense and punctuating backhands.

Pouille quickly sought the break in the deciding set but the Uruguayan broke back before he grabbed the advantage and had the chance to serve for the match.

Instead, the Frenchman recovered a love-30 deficit for 5-5 and put Cuevas on the ropes with an emphatic hold.

He broke at the crucial time and, while Cuevas departed the court pale-faced, Pouille embraced his native French crowd.