Monday, 29 May, 2017
Roland Garros is the only slam that plays the first round of matches over three days. From a spectator point of view, it’s great because they get to enjoy a further day of tennis.
However, from a player’s perspective, it’s tougher because you have to prepare for a match as early as Sunday and may only end up playing on Tuesday. That is the case for me as my first-round match is scheduled for tomorrow.
As I feel very ready to play, my primary focus over the two days preceding my game against Malek Jaziri has been on general maintenance both on and off the court. I have practiced for an hour each day in order to maintain my timing and feel for the ball.
Meanwhile, I have also worked out for 30 to 45 minutes in the gym each day in order to keep my body activated. Doing nothing is the worst thing, but doing too much is also not good. Finding the perfect balance heading into big events is crucial.
Right before the tournament begins, I don’t like doing sightseeing. I know it’s a good opportunity to explore, however, I often find such excursions really exhausting. Maybe it’s because I am really tall, but walking around too much takes its toll on my back.
As such, the sights and sounds of Paris will have to wait for post-tournament! However, on Saturday night we made a point of visiting one of our favorite restaurants in Paris, Le Bistrot d’Indochine, which serves delicious Vietnamese food.
Yesterday I hit for an hour and thereafter completed 30 minutes of training in the gym. I then performed my recovery and treatment that night. Our apartment is nearby the courts and I can hear the crowd from Suzanne Lenglen, which is piquing my excitement as my first match fast approaches.
As always, there are a host of interesting storylines that will develop at Roland Garros over the next fortnight. Eyes will be fixed on Rafael Nadal as he attempts to accomplish what I would consider one of the most amazing feats in all of sport: annexing 10 French Open titles.
Meanwhile, many people are questioning whether Novak Djokovic can regain some top-notch form, with Andre Agassi in his coaching box for this tournament, and make a concerted push to defend his French Open title.
Moreover, there has been an emergence of a few new young faces, specifically Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. The pair have enjoyed strong seasons and are surely eager to prove themselves worthy of being grand slam champions.
On the opposite end of the age scale, everybody would have liked to have seen Roger Federer play, but I can understand the 35-year-old’s decision to sit out. He is focusing all of his efforts on grass court preparation, and perhaps feels that having already skipped the bulk of the clay court season, preparing for one event may come at a cost to his grass campaign.
First round tomorrow, wish me luck out there!