Dorian de Meyer reveals the circumstances of his separation from Thomas Vanbauce, highlighting the notable achievements of their seven-year collaboration. He details his prospects, his objectives, such as integrating the French team and climbing into the FIP Top 200, and how he is preparing for the challenges to come.

Separation from Thomas

“It’s sad to have to say this, but it’s very real: “de Meyer/Vanbauce” is over. We will have written something completely new in the padel French: start sport together and enter the Top 10 together. I can't help but look back a little and the more memories go back, the more emotions come.

I remember our first game in 2017, we were playing at such a low level, not a single person would have bet even a cent on our chances of being one of the best French players. It took us 2 years to win our first P100. If we do the accounts 7 years later: we were top 10, we won several P1000, several P2000 semi-finals, we won a FIP Promotion and we entered the world Top 300 together.”

Why separation?

“The results have been negative for several months with very few positives. The team's level of play is no longer up to what we want, the understanding is no longer good and the frustrations are mounting. The fact that we are originally very friends prevents any form of filters on the ground that you normally impose on yourself with your partner. So, we sadly arrived at big clashes over our last defeats, and that is not acceptable.

Furthermore, I feel that our objectives, although they were rather similar in basic terms, were no longer on the same approaches. For my part, I believe that it was really sharing this adventure with Thomas that thrilled me, much more than the results in the literal sense. Thomas is originally a friend, whom I met in Maths college in 2016. Initially, the Padel was a way to enjoy a joint activity. So, I really resonated with "the moments" that I experienced with him, everything that we were capable of putting in place to succeed, to overcome difficulties, much more than the final result which, for me, was ultimately not the most important. In fact, I put our friendship first.

Dorian de Meyer and Thomas Vanbauce

That doesn't mean that I'm going to stop, far from it, but it does mean that I'm embarking on a project that I don't know, that of playing for yourself, for your personal goals. I'm not closing the door on doing something else in the world of padel if I realize that this is ultimately not what I like or what I want. At worst, I have a master's degree in applied mathematics; I am relatively safe if I want to change projects.

While on Thomas's side, I feel that he has changed direction in recent months and that he feels an immense desire to succeed alone and for himself. This is completely respectable, and I completely understand it. It's just a story of vision, and I explain our separation partly for these reasons. I wish him success given the investment he is putting into it, and I know that he has everything in his racket (and also in his head) to achieve his goals. I'd be really happy for him if he succeeds and, to be honest, I don't doubt it for a second. To speak more concretely on the court, I think that Thomas can be much more difficult to play if he plays with a partner who is just as dangerous as him in smashes. The future will tell."

An international partner?

"I do not know yet. Probably I won't play with a fixed partner. If I had to find an analogy, it's a bit like when you've been in a relationship for 8 years and you find yourself single overnight, you don't necessarily want to get back into a relationship straight away. , but no longer want to discover something else…

So, I will see tournament after tournament. I'm playing the next FIP ​​with Maxime Forcin; We get along very well whether on or off the track, so I'm already very happy with that. He is a father, unfortunately he cannot play the international circuit to the fullest, so it will remain temporary. I think about the “present moment” now.”

A partner in France?

“I will answer the same way as for international: I don't have a permanent partner (I didn't even look). This is a huge change for me, and I don't know yet how I'll handle the rest. I am lucky to be surrounded by an incredible “chosen family” who will help me bounce back: my friend Lisa, who is living my project 100% with me; my best friend Antoine, in whom I have infinite trust; my aunt Clarence, who made me grow up; and finally my grandmother, who allowed me to become what I am. They are the ones who give me strength in all aspects of my life, full time. In particular, I will take the time to discuss it with them; They know me well and will be able to help me.”

Dorian de Meyer and Thomas Vanbauce

The French championships?

“I will play the French championships with Thomas, because our separation was (too) hasty, and we did not have time to turn around to find a partner.”

The reasons for the separation

“When we achieved our goal of entering the French Top 10 in August 2022, we decided to change plans and play the FIP circuit, implying abandoning French tournaments. Error in reasoning or not, we have not reversed this decision until now. To be transparent, I will try to play a few P1000, P1500 and P2000 this year, if the FIP calendar allows it and if I find a partner with whom I feel competitive.”

The most complicated in the padel : relationships with your partner?

“Very interesting subject, I could talk about it for a long time as the debates are so varied. I would say yes, the padel is a humanly complicated sport, even more so when there is friendship at stake. No matter who you play with, it is a person who is different from you, with their qualities, their faults, their own values, his own visions. Ultimately, being a partner means 80% of the time spent outside, eating, chatting, sleeping, etc., and only 20% on the field playing. So, the amount of understanding in daily life is enormous given the time spent together and this is what can make things even more complicated sometimes on the other side of the world.

I think in particular that all the lights show the padel as being an extremely individual sport (unfortunately). Without starting shaky societal debates, I would say that the turnover of pairs in padel is only a reflection of the consumer society in which we live: “it doesn't work as well, so I throw it away”, rather than repairing it. The pairs leave each other little room: either it works quickly, or we change. From my point of view, it's unfortunate and sad. And that’s why I will always be proud of what we accomplished together with Thomas and why I will never forget it.”

Program and objectives 2024

“I clearly have the objective of making at least one selection for the French team (2025 or later) and entering the FIP Top 200 (254 currently).

Now the road is very (very) long. I am completely aware that I do not have the qualities that are most expected: I am relatively small, right-handed, and I do not send Par 3s from behind the line. I'm competing with French people who play well, particularly left-handed players with left-handed right-handed qualities, which is not easy to make a place for. My profile is very defensive, and it is in this area that I try to stand out.

Dorian de Meyer and Thomas Vanbauce

Even if I feel better every day, I feel that I still have a lot of room for improvement in terms of self-confidence. This is ultimately my biggest weakness. The level that I am able to offer when I feel confident can be light years away from the level that I can offer if I am not, especially if I decide to consider myself below my opponents. I'm very weird about this. However, I am at least confident in my resilience and will continue to try as long as it remains possible for me. If I succeed, I will be very proud of myself and the path I have covered. If I don't succeed, it will be extremely hard, but in the end, it will be exactly the same.

All these trips, all the people I met with great values ​​and who helped me... what a life we ​​lead! I come from a family with modest income, with a heavy psychological past. I am therefore incredibly lucky to do what I do, given my starting point and the difficulties I encountered during my childhood and adolescence. It's already incredible to have gotten to this point. Anyway, I don't put too much pressure on myself. If I get there tomorrow, in 1, 2, 5 years or not, it's everything I experience between now and then that matters to me.

Finally, I firmly want to send a special message to JT, he has been a real pillar for us. He started his academy with us, supported us as best he could with his own resources and I am extremely grateful for that. What the three of us experienced is really very powerful and cannot be forgotten. As I mentioned above, that’s really why I started this project.”

Dorian Massy

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