The story of Jeremy Chardy is a long one, in that he has been playing tennis for quite some time, into his early 30s. Yet, the story of Jeremy Chardy is also a short one, in that it can be summed up in a three-act play over the past 10 months.
Jeremy Chardy is the man who played a brilliant Queen’s Club tournament, making the semifinals and giving Novak Djokovic — the man rounding into form as the soon-to-be Wimbledon champion — a very tough battle.
Jeremy Chardy is the man I saw up close at the Phoenix 125K challenger — the Arizona Tennis Classic — in March. I focused mostly on a match between Elias Ymer and Casper Ruud on an adjacent court. (Ruud was dusted in set one but rallied to win in three.) I did, however, peek at the scoreboard on the main stadium court as Chardy, the No. 2 seed at the event, tried to handle Lorenzo Sonego… and failed.
This was the round of 32, not even a semifinal or final, at a challenger event. Sonego’s fluid serve and form won admirers and analysts in the crowd on that Phoenix evening, but Chardy shouldn’t be losing to him.
That was act two. The third and final act of this three-act presentation: Chardy lost a large pile of match points and fell to Christian Garin on Wednesday at the ATP Tour stop in Houston.
Able to engage Djokovic in a duel. Unable to get out of the round of 32 in a challenger. Out in the R-16 of an American clay-court event.
Chardy beat Roger Federer in Rome a few years ago. He is one of several players who earns this bit of praise from Tennis With An Accent contributor and podcast guest Andrew Burton: “When he hits a ball, it tends to stay hit.”
Yet, his career resume is profoundly barren, far more than it should be.
The past 10 months — from Queen’s Club to Phoenix to Houston — are so Jeremy Chardy-like, it hurts to process it all.
C’est la vie… sometimes.