One afternoon in 2017, in the Antwerp suburbs, we found David Goffin in city mode but on the edges of a tennis court. At the time, he had just re-entered the World Top 10. Accessible although reserved, he lent himself to the lifestyle interview game with a smile. It must be said that it was within the framework of his partnership with the watchmaker Piaget that we met him. Black pants, knit turtleneck, trendy sneakers, the Liégeois displayed a gentleman’s look. Back to this interview where the Belgian gave us some confidences outside the courts.
Is there a David Goffin style?
Off the court, yes I am quite sensitive to my look. I would define my look as classic, but with a trendy twist. I like to wear a strong piece with an elegant look, to be original without being eccentric. Often, it’s an accessory that makes the difference (he wore a pair of the latest Dior nylon sneakers that day, editor’s note). And then there is the watch. I love watches, it’s an object between jewelry and accessory, we don’t really wear it to tell the time anymore, but it enhances your look. Being an ambassador for a luxury watch is not at all like the big sponsorship contracts I am offered. For me, there is really something going on. It’s a universe that I like.
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Who dresses you?
It’s me ! I often do my shopping alone and I trust my tastes, but I also listen a lot to my wife, Stéphanie Tuccitto. She worked in a women’s magazine and follows fashion closely. And even if today, she accompanies me everywhere in the world, she is very aware of the trends pointed out on social networks. Her eye is sure, she has a flair for finding beautiful pieces. Otherwise, as a consumer, I’m a bit like everyone else, I think. I sometimes fall for a brand, a rather expensive designer piece, but I can just as easily rob a Zara.
Who could you have been if you hadn’t been a tennis champion?
It’s quite difficult to say, I grew up in this environment, it was obvious to me. But it’s a question I’ve often asked myself. I instinctively think of professions close to my condition as an athlete, such as osteopath or physiotherapist. These are trades that I am often confronted with, and that I could have practiced. Besides, I could almost deceive myself as an osteotherapist because I spent time with them (laughs)… More seriously, I also have a fascination for architecture. It is a discipline that could have tempted me. I love big cities and spectacular architecture.
Which cities in particular are you thinking of?
Tokyo or New York, or all these metropolises where we find ourselves bathed in a culture totally different from ours. I was still recently in New York… The buildings, the towers of the city always impress me. And yet, they are not heavy, you don’t feel locked in, it’s crazy! This city is captivating, it exudes such energy! I always feel good there.
How do you do to feel good when you live whole weeks away from home?
Never being at home is indeed one of the great difficulties of the tennis profession. Because to find your balance, having benchmarks is important. We therefore have to “find the balance in the imbalance”… Fortunately, over the years and the tournaments, we return to the same periods, in the same cities, we frequent the same hotels, and we therefore create new benchmarks . There are hotels where I feel better, places I love and where I’m starting to get used to it.
Addresses with rather modern, sober fittings. I like my hotel to be fairly central, with nearby restaurants and entertainment, like the Omni in Manhattan. It has to move. Even if it means living in imbalance, you might as well soak up the atmosphere. And then there is the human dimension. In Tokyo, for example, the reception is incredible. People are especially lovely in Japan. It’s a less spontaneous and friendly hospitality than what you find among Canadians, for example, but very zen.
What else do you do to be Zen, precisely?
Sophrology, relaxation and meditation are part of my work program. I am trained to refocus my energies and relax, but my favorite thing, whenever I can, is to play golf. It’s a discipline that takes time, and I don’t often have three or four hours of beat for it, but I find all the components of sport in it — competition, the objective to be achieved — but in a whole another dynamic, a more relaxed pace. It’s relaxing for me.
Do you have any beauty tips, habits, favorite products?
Not really, you will only find the basics in my bathroom: deodorant, shower gel. Stephanie would like me to do a lot more. Sometimes I let myself go — in general I appreciate cosmetics — but I can’t manage to get into this habit… On the other hand, I love the spa, saunas, hammams. I often take advantage of the holidays to treat myself to long relaxing massages, it’s a change from sports massages. I remember an unforgettable massage, on a beach in the Seychelles, facing the sea… But who could resist this kind of moment?
Do you follow a special diet?
Like all professional athletes, I avoid alcohol, of course. I’m lucky not to gain weight. It doesn’t look like it, but I hear other players suffer from this; they deprive themselves of chocolate, watch the scales…While me, on the contrary, I tend to lose weight when I have long tours (he smiles). For a tennis player, two extra pounds can make a big difference, you don’t move quite properly anymore. But I’m a big fan of sushi, and all Japanese cuisine in general. I live in Monaco and I’m a loyal customer of Nobu (a chain of high-end Japanese restaurants, editor’s note). Everywhere in the world, when there is a Nobu in a city, I visit it.
And when you return to Liège, where will we be able to meet you?
Like a lot of people from Liège, I like to eat at Jacob’s. It’s a meat restaurant, with matured meats, Wagyu beef… I come back often.
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Sophrology, meditation, …: David Goffin’s routine to shine on the tennis courts
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