l’essentielThe member of the Union club, ranked 1/6, has been selected to participate in the Masters at the League Center. Tomorrow morning, in the quarterfinals, he will be playing against the number one seed with a handicap of -15.
« No, I didn’t think I would participate in this tournament. In the end, it’s a pleasant surprise (laughs). » Ex – 2 out of 6, currently ranked 1 out of 6, Romain Rodriguez (24 years old) is therefore among the eight players expected this weekend at the Balma League Center for the traditional Masters of the Raquettes Circuit « La Dépêche du Midi-BNP Paribas » (the women’s draw, on the other hand, includes six players).
Following a withdrawal (like Clément Andrieu from Balma), the player from Union, ranked 11th in the final standings, was not lucky with the draw: tomorrow morning (starting at 11 am), in the quarterfinals, he will challenge Argentinean Tomas Rengel Sierra (from TC Saint-Estève), who is ranked -15 and is the number one seed in the tournament. « In the second half of the season, I wanted to participate in some tournaments of this Circuit to see if I could earn some points. However, this Circuit was not a real objective. Now that I find myself among the eight participants of the Masters, I will not go there as a tourist. Naturally, on paper, I am not the favorite in this quarterfinal. My opponent is very strong. But as the saying goes, anything can happen in a match, » assures this tennis professor from Léguevin club.
« I had to make a choice. »
This confrontation will surely remind him of the time when he hoped to go higher. « In September 2018, I was at -2/6. I had to make a choice: either continue full throttle to reach new levels, while being aware of what it meant financially; or become a coach in a club to have job security. I chose the second option, » explains the young man, whose first tennis strokes date back to the age of 9 in the Oise region.
But with a footballer father, the round ball first occupied his childhood. « When I was 11 years old, we moved to Tarn-et-Garonne. At 12, I stopped playing football to focus on the yellow ball. By the time I was 16, I was ranked 0 and was among the top fifteen French players in my category. At that time, I trained in a facility in Villefranche-de-Rouergue. Then, at 19, I arrived in Haute-Garonne, first at the Blagnac club, » recalls the person who defines himself as a « blocker ».
« I have rediscovered my passion for competition. »
At the end of the 2022-2023 season, the Unionais achieved a total of 38 victories and 17 defeats. « It was a successful season. I started it with a ranking of 2/6. I have especially rediscovered my passion for competition. I don’t focus too much on the ranking anymore. My priority is to be happy when stepping onto the court, » he insists.
Note that his last appearance in a tournament dates back to early September, with a victory in the final of the Gagnac event. « Regarding my physical condition, I have never had a major injury, » says the TCU player. Let’s hope it continues.