PARIS, May 24, 2019
Friday. It’s Media Day in Paris, which means that over the course of the day, a selection of the star players at this year’s Roland Garros answered the questions of the journalists. More than 15 press conferences took place two days ahead of the start of the main draw.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal is bidding to become the first player in history to win 12 singles titles at any Grand Slam tournament. His victory at the Bois de Boulogne in 2018 took his total of French Open trophies to 11, equalling Margaret Court’s record of most singles titles at the same major event.
Nadal seems to be back at his best, winning the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome last week. “I have been at home, one day of golf, one day of family, and came back here,” the No. 2 seed spoke about his time since his triumph in Italy.
“I have already had two practice sessions here. Good practices. I am just trying to continue the preparation and to hold the level.”
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) 24. Mai 2019
Asked about the new Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal said: “It’s the same feeling on the court. I don’t see a difference in terms of game experience, you know. Of course it is a different court, and especially is a little bit different looking from, behind the royal box. For me, that’s the main difference.”
Nadal welcomes that Laver Cup and the ATP Tour have joined forces. “I supported this. I understand that this is a good event for tennis, for the fans, and for the players, too. So of course we cannot give points to this, because it is difficult today, but I think it is great news for the event and for the ATP to be part of it.”
The 32-year-old Spaniard will open his Paris campaign against a qualifier and with Thiem and Zverev on the other side of the draw and no chance to see the likes of Tsitsipas or Federer until at least the semis, it could be a very clear path to the final for Nadal, where the Spaniard’s odds are even for a twelfth French Open title.