• Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

The Daily News Box

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“The bedroom was hard”

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 29, 2020
Richard, it’s already time to take a first look at this Covid tennis: after New York and now Roland-Garros, we imagine that you are not super excited …
Let’s say that I had a very difficult sequence, since I still had eight days in a room in New York, and then I returned to Paris. I trained, I had sciatica over ten days. The bedroom was hard. I arrived, I was not very fit and I returned to tennis last Wednesday, so not in shape and on top of that I had a very difficult draw. If I had players between 80 and 100 or wild cards it would have been different, but he was very strong, in three winning sets. Also, I failed to do the first one. It was complicated. I’m out of tennis. I had a too difficult sequence to be able to compete with a guy as strong as him. When there is a tournament, you have to do it, you never know what can happen. It’s still Roland-Garros, I know that I don’t have a lot left either.

No French qualified on Tuesday, is it linked to the preparation? What makes it even more complicated for the French?
Me, I speak for myself, I have a very difficult sequence. Afterwards, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is not there, Ga Monfils did not have a huge match, he is lower than before and me too. Quite simply, we are a little less efficient. It’s more complicated. There is a generation which is going down a little, apart from “Monf” which is very high and which should perhaps have done better, but otherwise we have a little more difficulties linked to all the years on the circuit. It’s pretty much normal, now it’s more for the new generation to arrive.

Roberto Bautista Agut has been there for quite a long time, he has excellent results, he is very tough but the general public does not know him, he does not have a lot of charisma. Why is he so strong?
Already, he has an incredible physique. From the first to the last point, in two or four hours, he will be on top. He is extremely sharp, he runs everywhere and makes very few mistakes. He beats Novak Djokovic on a regular basis, he keeps pace every time. He hits hard, he’s very smart. In terms of charisma, it might not be Nick Kyrgios, but he has an incredible game. That’s why he’s been in the top ten for quite a long time.

“Mladenovic, it’s a scandal”

There were incidents of play and traces with Gilles Simon and Kristina Mladenovic, you were also a victim in Rome. Do we have to come to the video on clay?
Yes, largely. It was monstrous in Rome, but for Kristina Mladenovic, it’s a scandal. If you can’t see the ball in front, it’s awful. At 6-1, the game is completely different. It’s clear that you have to come to the video because each time, I have the impression of being alone to see marks … From time to time, it’s the lottery. It’s clear, when you have something as good as video, you always have to use it.

How do you imagine your next weeks, do you have an idea of ​​your program until the end of the year?
I am registered in Saint-Petersburg: one more test and 24 hours in a hotel room … You have to play anyway, otherwise the rhythm I’ll never have. Without an audience, it’s difficult. Sport has to start again, but it’s still not pleasant; no audience, being in the hotel room… There are much more difficult jobs, but it’s not pleasant. I hope it won’t last for months and months like this.

Precisely, Nicolas Mahut told us earlier that he felt a beginning of mental wear and tear among some of having to stay in the hotel room …
He’s nice Mahut, but he didn’t spend ten days in a room in New York … We still got the highlight: eight days there, it was very hard. We will have done belotes, that’s the only thing I can say. That didn’t stop us from playing every night.

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