Roger Federer, you must be reassured by this introduction, right?
If it’s true. I was a bit vague, because even if you trained well, you are never sure that you can transcribe everything in a match. I didn’t want to find myself rowing, chasing after the score trying to find solutions with the knife under my throat. But I quickly relaxed when I realized that I easily turned it over. At Indian Wells, his service kick had caused me problems. This was not the case here, probably due to the conditions. Then I found the right mix in the trade, the right time to go and attack him on his backhand side. It was a perfect first round.
You talk about conditions. How do you judge them?
They look like last year. It’s clearly not as fast as it was in 2017 and 2018. And I find that the balls go fast enough when they are new, but wear out very quickly. Suddenly, the conditions become slow at the end of rotation. So I would say you have to prepare to work a lot to earn a point. Against the best, in night conditions, it will be necessary to think carefully how to build your point. The fight will be bitter, the pulsations will go up. But I prepared for it.
You have never lost a first Grand Slam round. Do you have an explanation for this legendary insurance?
Well, there have been some close matches that come to mind. But I see several reasons. My level first. The transition to the 32 seeds then. At the time, it was possible to play a Top 20 entry. Today, we are protected from a lot of dangerous players. And then, no doubt that I created a style of play that allows me to manage this adversity outside the top 30, despite the nervousness or some inaccuracies. We see it in Masters 1000, where a first round against a top player can be very complicated. I am delighted that it is going so well in Grand Slam.
Interview by Mathieu Aeschmann, Melbourne
Created: 20.01.2020, 08h19