May 13, 2013
By Stephanie Juncker
FRESNO, Calif. --- As a senior in 2012, Remi Boutillier finished his career as a Fresno State Bulldog nothing short of spectacular. During the spring of 2012, the Briancon, France native accumulated awards and accomplishments such as WAC Player of the Year, NCAA singles and doubles qualifier and Fresno State's top distinction of Bulldog of the Year. Boutillier, who played at No. 1 for the 'Dogs, finished his career with 99 singles victories which ranks fifth all-time in Fresno State history.
The Frenchman began his professional career in January of 2013 and has continued his success that he had as a Bulldog to today. Boutillier has started hot with a 31-8 overall record since beginning in January and his best result has been a semifinal finish in the Greece F2 Futures Event in Heraklion, Greece. After starting the season unranked, he has now moved up to #903 in the ATP.
GoBulldogs was able to catch up with the former Fresno State star to talk about life after Bulldog Tennis and his debut as a professional tennis player:
GoBulldogs: Since you finished your Bulldog career last May what have you been up to?
Remi Boutillier: Well, last semester I was still in Fresno because I had to finish my degree. Throughout the whole semester, I was training on my own since I had already decided to go on the pro tour right after school. I wanted to be ready to play matches as soon as I was going to be done with school. Once I graduated last December, I spent a few days back home with my family and then I started playing tournaments. Since January, I have basically been practicing, training, traveling, and playing.
GB: Where all have you gotten to play on the pro tour so far?
GB: When and where is your next big tournament?
RB: I have played in several parts of France as you can guess, and I am actually in Paris right now. Otherwise, I went 3 weeks to Portugal in February and 3 weeks to Greece in April. I have planned to go to many other places in the upcoming future, mostly in Europe for now.
RB: My next big pro tournament will be in June because I am playing some club tournaments in May in order to make some money. I have not decided where I will go yet, but it will most likely be in Europe or North Africa.
GB: What is the best part of playing tennis for a living?
RB: The best part of playing tennis for a living is that I get to do what I love every day. It is sometimes hard to believe that I am taking on a challenge that big but I guess believing I can do it is part of the challenge itself. As a competitor, I am driven by challenges and lucky enough to have the opportunity to try to make my dream come true so I do not want to let it go and have regrets later on. It just feels right to pursue that path. On top of all that, I get to travel around and meet a lot of people, which is always a nice experience.
GB: Did you enjoy your time in Fresno as a Bulldog?
RB: YES, I loved my time at Fresno State. Those 4 years were by far the greatest experience of my life. If I could have been a student athlete for a few more years, I definitely would have. So to all student athletes, enjoy it while it last!!!!
GB: What is your favorite memory from being part of the men's tennis program?
RB: I have so many good memories but if I really had to pick one, I think it would be the one time when we won the WAC tournament in Boise beating Boise State in the semifinals. I'm sure my whole team still remembers it. All the matches were so close that it was very satisfying to come out on top of that battle and bring back the WAC championship the next day. Since we had been chasing the title for a while it was nice to finally make it happen, and the way it occurred made it unforgettable to me.
GB: What did you learn from your playing time at Fresno State that has helped you in your young pro career so far?
RB: By coming to Fresno State, I discovered a very different mentality compared to what I was used to back in France. College tennis players never give up and have this special fighting spirit that differentiates them from other players. I never saw anything like it before and it completely changed my way of thinking and acting on the court. I believe that this mentality and behavior has already helped me to win many matches on the pro tour.
GB: What is the most important tool that you gained at Fresno State as a student-athlete?
RB: I think the most important tool I gained from being a student-athlete at Fresno State is the ability to stay on top of things by being organized no matter the circumstances. All student-athletes have pretty busy schedules since they are always practicing, training, traveling, playing, studying, catching up on school, going to class, doing homework, etc. It is sometimes not easy to keep up with all of it, but it is the key to succeed as a student-athlete. I believe it is a very important tool to have under his or her belt in order to be successful in life as well. Fresno State definitely taught me that!
"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - To keep up with Remi's progress on the Pro tour go to: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Bo/R/Remi-Boutillier.aspx