Pierre-Hugues Herbert insists he feels “honored” to share the same side of the court with his good friend Nicolas Mahut.
On Sunday, Herbert and Mahut beat Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-4 7-6 (0) to win their second ATP Finals title.
“He’s Benjamin Button, he’s going the other way. He’s just playing better and better and it’s just an honour to be on the court with him. Sharing the court with him is really a privilege,” Herbert said of his ageless compatriot.
Mahut is 39 but is still able to compete at the highest level.
“It’s everyday work,” said Mahut.
“I cannot stop for more than two days. I would says. It’s every day I have to do gym (work), stretch, practice. Sometimes it’s not easy. I have a family too. Sometimes I’m tired.
“But they’re still around me, pushing me to do it. If I don’t, I know my level will drop. I still want to play. If I keep playing at my age, it’s because I still have some big goals and want to be competitive. Maybe I need to work harder than before.”
Herbert jokes Mahut wants to be like Novak Djokovic
“Nico is becoming a yoga master. He was one of the guys that had no flexibility at all. Actually he’s becoming…his goal is to be (as flexible as) Djokovic. He’s still on the path,” Herbert said.
Hervert and Mahut will me remembered as the doubles team that won the first-ever ATP Finals in Turin.
“There’s a good crowd here. I feel like the Italians, they love tennis. They’re big tennis fans. It’s nice to come in this country and play here,” said Herbert.
“It’s the first year. It’s still a Covid year. It’s still a special way of organising an event. I think, yeah, they’ve done a good job for a first year.”