Pierre-Hugues Herbert: From Family Health Crisis to Facing Djokovic at Roland-Garros

Aurélie Sacchelli, Media365, published on Friday May 24, 2024 at 9:44 a.m.

In an interview with L’Equipe, Pierre-Hugues Herbert discusses the serious health problems experienced by his son. His little Léandre is now healed, and facing Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland-Garros makes the Alsatian smile.

Early Thursday afternoon, during the draw made by Marie-José Pérec, Pierre-Hugues Herbert learned that he would begin his Roland-Garros with a match against the world No. 1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic. Just that ! Aware that he has little chance of competing in the second round at Porte d’Auteuil for the fifth time in his career, the 33-year-old Alsatian prefers to laugh about it. “It’s funny because with my story, with all the struggles I’ve had lately, it rather makes me laugh,” he confides. If the current 143rd player in the world has this state of mind, it is because he has just experienced very difficult months due to the illness of his second son, Léandre, who celebrated his first birthday at the beginning of the month. . He spoke this Friday in the columns of The team : “Playing on the Roland-Garros center while I spent two weeks in Necker and a month in the Basel hospital over the last seven months… It was a long process. At four months old, my My son started having seizures. We thought they were epileptic seizures, but they were hypoglycemic seizures. He had a condition called hyperinsulinism, the opposite of diabetes. When you have repeated hypoglycemia, it can seriously damage the brain.”

From 400th to 160th place in the world during illness

Present at the US Open last September when his son was in hospital, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who reached the semi-finals of the doubles tournament, insisted on continuing to play despite his serious personal problems. “At the time Léandre fell ill, I was 400th… I came right back into this period. This ordeal gave me the instinct for survival. I had my role to play in the family and I had no room for error, in a way. My son helped me a lot. He was very inspiring. It’s impressive to see the strength you can have at less than a year old,” says “P2H”. And last month, deliverance! Little Léandre was able to undergo surgery and is officially cured. “In our bad luck, we had hope. It was discovered that only part of the pancreas was diseased and that it could be operated on. It’s a difficult time to bring your son to the operating room… They removed 25% of his pancreas and the area that was “malfunctioning”. And we were told that Léandre was cured”, he remembers. Since April 9, the day of recovery, Pierre-Hugues Herbert has won only one of his six matches. Beating Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland -Garros would therefore be an achievement, but it would be nothing compared to the happiness he experienced following his son’s operation.

2024-05-24 07:44:00
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