Home Sports Roland-Garros: Djokovic, Nadal, Osaka… In what state of mind are the headliners?

Roland-Garros: Djokovic, Nadal, Osaka… In what state of mind are the headliners?

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The excitement begins to climb, two days before the start of Roland-Garros. The headliners of world tennis arrived at Porte d’Auteuil, and some appeared before the press on Friday. This is the case of Novak Djokovic, favorite among the men, or Naomi Osaka, a year after his hasty departure from the tournament.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Naomi Osaka… The headliners of world tennis arrived in Paris a few days before the start of Roland-Garros, of which Europe 1 is the official radio. This Friday marked the traditional pre-tournament press conference. Favorites and favorites followed one another at the microphone, but also on the training grounds. In the middle of the day, on the central court open to the public, spectators could see defending champion Novak Djokovic kick the ball with the Spanish phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz. Two players likely to meet in the semi-finals.

If the last four of the tournament is still far away, on Friday afternoon, Novak Djokovic, cap screwed on his head, appeared before the press, five months after his incredible expulsion from Australia at the start of the year because he was not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Djokovic still “motivated” to reach the final

The world number one is preparing to play his first Grand Slam tournament of the season, in Paris, and the Serb is gaining momentum. “I arrived here after winning the Rome tournament. It’s very important for my confidence, and I feel good on the courts,” he says in French. “I’m motivated to reach the final,” he told reporters.

In front of the cameras and the microphones, there was also Rafael Nadal. Despite his 13 Porte d’Auteuil titles, the Spaniard, who drags a nasty foot pain, refuses to take on the status of favorite. “The pain is still there,” he said, adding that his chances of a 14th Parisian title would depend on the intensity of the pain.

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The return of Naomi Osaka in front of the press

A return in front of the cameras has particularly caught the attention of the media: that of the Japanese star Naomi Osaka, a year after her depression which started right at the start of Roland-Garros and which precipitated her departure from Porte d’Auteuil. The former world number one says she always feels huge waves of anxiety when she speaks to the world press.

On the French side, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also spoke to the press, as he prepares to end his career after Roland-Garros. Despite a very complicated first round against the Norwegian Casper Ruud (8th in the world), the Frenchman assures that “it will be a party”. “I feel both relieved to know that it’s the last (tournament), because I still have my mind and my body telling me that it’s time to stop, and at the same time very excited,” the 37-year-old commented on Friday.

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