Rafael Nadal

Second Service: Nadal focused on French Open, Djokovic ‘playing well’

In Second Service today, we take a look at comments from Rafael Nadal ahead of the French Open, Novak Djokovic ‘playing well and feeling good’ and analyst downplays Serena Williams title hopes in Paris.

Rafael Nadal can surpass Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam list with a 14th victory at Roland Garros, which would see him move onto 21 Grand Slam titles.

Although, the Spaniard’s approach is firmly on Roland Garros and not number 21.

“Roland Garros is one of the most important events in the world, and for me, personally, probably the most important event of my tennis career. I’ve probably enjoyed the most beautiful moments of my tennis career there. I have never have been obsessed about winning more than the rest and all this stuff.” said Nadal.

“Of course, I want it, of course, I am trying hard, but I am just happy doing what I’m doing and just happy being competitive still today and giving myself a chance to compete against the young guys.” he added.

Novak Djokovic said he “is playing well and feeling good” after beating Alex Molcan in straight sets to win the Belgrade 2 event. The world number one starts his French Open campaign on Monday against Tennys Sandgren.

“It’s been a while since I last played here in front of a crowd. We played here one month ago [at the Serbia Open], without a crowd. To hold a trophy here after 10 years is really special and it couldn’t be better ahead of Roland Garros.”

“I am playing well, feeling good and I have spent quality time with my family.” Djokovic said.

Serena Williams is capable of winning an eighth Wimbledon title but will not win another major on clay, according to Andrew Castle.

“Her preparation appears sporadic and her commitment to the sport and the work that goes with it just seems slightly less than 100%. But what all the other players in the draw understand is Serena’s 99% is enough to beat 99% of them. She has been a semi-finalist at the last two Grand Slams, so watch out at Wimbledon for that record-equalling 24th major win.”

Castle tipped 19-year-old Iga Swiatek to defend her 2020 French Open title.

“My favourite for the title is Iga Swiatek, the defending champion who won without dropping a set as a teenager last year. Such was the state of the world that her triumph went largely unnoticed outside of tennis but it may have marked the beginning of a clay-court dominance.” Castle claimed.

Iga Swiatek

Finally, 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza has dismissed her chances this year, by saying she should not be regarded as one of the pre-tournament favourites.

“I don’t consider myself one of the favourites. I feel I have to be humble, haven’t played many matches on clay. I have to take the rhythm of step by step. I like the surface a lot, but I don’t see myself at that level.”

“My preparation has been a bit tricky. Physically I’m catching up a bit to get well prepared,” the two-time Major winner said.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.