Djokovic ready for action
Originally published on 28/05/17 00:00
It has been a year of upheaval and uncertainty for the world No.2, but he believes the appointment of Andre Agassi as his coach is the beginning of a new chapter. In his pre-tournament press conference, the 12-time Grand Slam winner said: “We all felt in my former team that we needed a change and to go our separate ways, so right now I feel much better on the court.
"He [Agassi] is someone that inspires me a lot and that’s one of the things I felt like I needed – a new inspiration and someone that knows exactly what I’m going through. On the court, off the court, he has been through all these transitions and he has been in my shoes before.”
Rafael Nadal’s bid for La Decima – an unprecedented 10th Roland Garros title – will begin against Benoit Paire. “It's true that since the beginning of the season, I am happy with the way that I played. I think I played well in almost every event that I have been in," said the confident 30-year-old.
“I think I recovered a couple of things I missed, especially in 2015. I’m playing well with my forehand again and I’m moving well, but being healthy is the key.”
There are a number of other intriguing men’s matches scheduled, but Alexander Zverev against Fernando Verdasco is the pick of the bunch.
Garbine Muguruza is also involved in the action as she begins her title defence. “I will try to face it as a normal tournament, even if I will feel more pressure and responsibility,” said the Spaniard. “It's a Grand Slam, I want to do well. I already have this trophy and I want to win it again. It will be very tough and I will try to play as many matches as possible.”
Her opponent, 2010 winner Francesca Schiavone, will retire this year but she will not want to say her farewells in Paris just yet.
A match that will garner plenty of local attention involves Kristina Mladenovic. The talented Frenchwoman has found her groove this year and she looks ready to make an impact at a major. Her first round opponent is Jennifer Brady from the United States.