The following is a story from 'TENNIS WORLD USA' and is a remarkable show of sportsmanship from a veteran of the sport of tennis. Paul -Henri Mathieu is no real house hold name yet he is a man of substance. The tennis world needs more guys like him on tour looking after the future of the game....
Strange choice for Paul-Henri Mathieu. The Frenchman has decided to play the qualifications at the Masters 1000 Paris Bercy so that the organizers could give the wild-card for the main draw to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Today Mathieu faces Albert Ramos Vinolas. Had he decided to play in the main draw, he would have gained 12.125 euros and would have earned 10 points. If he loses against Ramos, he will gain 1.370 and zero ATP Points.
He has won four singles titles; reached the semi finals of the 2005 Montreal Masters and achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 12 in April 2008. In 2005, he achieved his best result in an ATP Masters Series event, knocking out Andy Roddick on his way to the semi finals at Montreal.
2006 saw him reaching his best result at a Grand Slam tournament with the fourth round at the Australian Open. In May he peaked a career best ranking of no. 32. In the third round of the French Open, he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in a gruelling encounter which lasted 4 hours and 53 minutes, but amazingly only saw 42 games played (Nadal won the match 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4, with the first set lasting 93 minutes and each of the following sets longer than an hour).
Paul Henri has won around $5.5 million US dollars in his time on the pro circuit and he is 33 years old, in the twilight of his career. He can see that it is not a necessity for him to play now days especially when a younger player can earn some much needed dollars and ranking points.
Stories like this are not mentioned enough in tennis as it's usually about Novak or Rodger winning a million here and there and living in a palace. It's not how most players live and not what most players earn yet the life of a tennis professional is glamourized to the extremes most of the time.
The Frenchman shows the tennis world that the human spirit is still alive and well, after all what's another $12,000 Euros when you are a millionaire five times over ey ?? Well done Champ......