Alize Cornet and Lucas Pouille might be lacking singles wins at the Mastercard Hopman Cup this week, but their team dynamic couldn’t be stronger.
In a first-time pairing at RAC Arena, the French players are the winners of both mixed doubles rubbers they’ve contested.
Cornet and Pouille defeated Ash Barty and Matt Ebden as they took on Australia; against Germany, they upset Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev.
It follows a proud history in team events for each member of the duo.
In 2014, Alize Cornet claimed her nation’s first Mastercard Hopman Cup title alongside Jo-Wilfired Tsonga.
Pouille clinched France’s 2017 Davis Cup title in the live fifth rubber against Belgian Steve Darcis and helped in a runner-up performance (to Croatia) last season.
“It’s always special to play for my country,” says the Frenchman.
The team element also factors in other ways as Cornet and Pouille start their seasons in Australia.
Each French player has a new coach in the new season – Cornet reuniting with a childhood coach in Pierre Bouteyre and Lucas Pouille teaming with former No.1 Amelie Mauresmo.
“I am really happy to start the relationship,” said Pouille of his high-profile countrywoman.
“She’s a champion on and off the court. She’s been a great coach. The Fed Cup captain and coach of Andy Murray so I’m pretty sure that she’s the one that’s going to help me get back to the top 20.”
One of five current Frenchmen to have achieved a top-10 ranking – Pouille breaking into that upper echelon last February – the 24-year-old is proud to add to such a successful era for his nation.
He speaks of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon as an “amazing generation.”
“All of them were great champions,” said the 24-year-old. “They won so many titles, so many amazing matches, so it was good for me growing up to have them like big brothers almost.”
Team France colleague Cornet provides similar inspiration. “It’s great we have the chance to have so many champions in tennis. It’s good for us,” he said.
The Frenchwoman herself will be hoping to channel her fresh start with Bouteyre into a win against Garbine Muguruza today.
Cornet trails their head-to-head record 1-2, but she won her most recent match against the Spaniard at the 2017 Brisbane International.
Pouille, currently ranked world No.32, has won both matches he’s contested against world No.125 veteran David Ferrer.