The day has finally arrived that many tennis fans, and particularly Roland Garros fans, were waiting for. Rafa Nadal, 13 times champion of the tournament, debuts this Tuesday, not before 4:00 p.m., against the 21-year-old Australian and 63rd in the world Alexei Popyrin, which he won a few weeks ago at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Also making his debut in this year’s edition is his main adversary, Novak Djokovic, who will oppose the American Tennys Sandgren (29th and 66th) in the new night session starting at 21:00. The Serbian, who comes from winning last Saturday the ATP 250 from his home, Belgrade, yesterday addressed the media in Paris, and stated that since the final of the 1000 Masters in Rome, he feels “closer” to the performance of the balearic on clay. “With Rafa, either you are at his level or there is no way to beat him,” said the number one in the world. “That is why he has beaten me the last five games on that surface, because I have not been at his level. But in Rome I was very close, until the last blow.”
Nadal yesterday reduced his workload to an hour and a half instead of three at the facilities of the Jean Bouin complex, attached to Roland Garros. Djokovic spent the same time on the track but within the tournament venue, on track 3. This Tuesday they will return to action, to the fight for the title.
On the third day of competition, it is also the turn of the rest of the Navy players who have not yet premiered: Albert Ramos, who will face Monfils; Fernando Verdasco, against Kohlschreiber; Roberto Carballés, before Mikael Ymer; and Feliciano López, in front of Coria.