NADAL WARY OF PAIRE THREAT
Spaniard faces tricky first-round match against unpredictable Frenchman
PARIS want to play against in the first round,” Nadal told a news conference on Friday.
“A player with big talent. Great serve, great hands. Fantastic backhand, no? He is a dangerous opponent. Yeah, that’s it. I need to play my best.”
Nadal, whose last title in Paris came in 2014, has again become the favourite after struggling with form, reaching his first grand slam final in three years at the Australian Open in January.
He went on to win three of the following four claycourt tournaments he has entered, only losing to Dominic Thiem in Rome.
“It feels right at this moment because I was, in the last, you know, five, six months, struggling a little bit on the court and trying to re-define myself, rediscover what kind of approach is the right one.”
Djokovic was out on court with 1999 champion Agassi on Friday before the draw ceremony, where he was paired with Spaniard Marcel Granollers.
“Right now I feel much better on the court,” Djokovic said. “I was talking with Andre for a couple of weeks during Madrid and Rome on the phone, kind of preparing for the matches, analysing matches.
“It’s true that since the beginning of the season, I am happy the way that I played. I think I play well in almost every event that I have been in,” said Nadal, who turns 31 next month.
“I played well on hard. Then played great on clay. Happy about the events that I won. Three events I have won have
“That allowed both of us to get to know each other and for him to get closer to my thinking and my mindset.
“I was very glad that he accepted to come in person in Paris and spend some time.”
Djokovic said he had shared some long conversations with Agassi in Paris and that they had “clicked and connected.”
“He’s someone that inspires me a lot. That’s one of the things I felt like I needed is new inspiration, someone that knows exactly what I’m going through on the court.
“It brings a new dimension of motivation.” Reuters been very important for me,” he added, referring to the Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid titles on his favourite surface.
The Rome defeat against Thiem did not worry Nadal, who said it came at the end of a long series of matches.
“In Rome I was a little bit tired mentally more than physically, because it was a lot of days in a row playing at high intensity,” said Nadal.
“Now I am very tired because it’s very, very warm here,” he joked.
“But that’s it. No, no, I am very happy the way that I arrived here. Now I have to play well here. That’s all.” Reuters
Former World No 1 Andre Agassi has been drafted in to help Novak Djokovic recapture his form.