$50 bln more required for middle-and low-income Arab countries to recover from COVID-19: ESCWA    GERD talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to continue Saturday    GERD talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan resume on Friday    Saudi-led coalition destroys four Houthi drones over Yemen    Rudolfo Anaya, 'godfather' of Chicano literature, dies at 82    Liverpool reiterate need for safe celebrations ahead of Villa clash    Egypt and Jordan's Foreign ministers discuss annexation of West Bank    Indigenous leaders angry about coronavirus risk from Brazilian military visit    EU grants conditional clearance to COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir    UN says it is "alarmed" at arrests in Hong Kong, concerned at "vague" law    France's PM Philippe resigns ahead of Cabinet reshuffle    Gulf economies to shrink 7.6% due to coronavirus, decline in oil prices: IMF    UK PM Johnson says of fathering his newborn son: 'I'm pretty hands on'    Japan seeks extradition of Americans accused in Ghosn escape    Ex-FDA official says the worst of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak to end in January    Moderna delays coronavirus vaccine trial – report    Sane completes move to Bayern from Manchester City    Greece starts clearing ground for Athens property plan after long delay    Egypt developing four WHO-registered vaccines to treat coronavirus patients    Lebanon's IMF talks on hold, finance minister says    313 tourists from Switzerland, Belarus arrive in Egypt following flight resumption    Real Madrid close in on La Liga title after edging Getafe    Ethiopia intransigent on GERD issue: ECES seminar experts    Qalaa Holdings records 191% y-o-y increase in revenues during Q1 of 2020    ABB, Hitachi launch $10bn joint power venture    NCW calls for investigating harassment and rape allegations discussed on social media    Egypt's National Election Committee to announce Senate election details    Egypt is developing 4 vaccines, 3 drugs against COVID-19: Higher Education Minister    Italy's Eni unveils new gas discovery off Egyptian Nile Delta coast    Apple to re-close more stores in U.S, bringing total to 77    Egypt's Zamalek to continue training Thursday, but domestic league participation unclear    Egypt's parliament Oks supplementary spending bill for FY20    Liverpool boss Klopp happy with African Nations Cup postponement    Deadly protests erupt in Ethiopia over killing of popular Oromo singer    Egypt's cultural activities to resume mid-July    At 99, CPC governance legitimacy shines brighter in time of global uncertainty    Federation of Egyptian Banks denies funding GERD: eletreby    Saudi development authority starts executing phase I of giant cultural project    30 June Revolution preserved Egyptian identity from hijack: Al-Sisi    Don't miss Al-Hadra troupe's two concerts at El-Sawy Culturewheel    Egypt's President Sisi opens Baron Empain Palace, two int'l airports    Inauguration of Baron Empain Palace important for Egypt's tourism sector: official    President Al-Sisi inaugurates new national project developments in Cairo    11 coronavirus cases detected at Egyptian Premier League clubs – EFA    Egypt to host World Handball Championship on time despite COVID-19: EHF President    Liverpool's Egyptian winger Salah fit for Crystal Palace clash – coach Klopp    Egypt's parliament Oks amendments to House law amid differences over election    CAF draws timeline for resumed continental championships amid COVID-19    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Tennis: Djokovic concedes he has mountain to climb at French Open
Published in Ahram Online on 22 - 05 - 2019

World number one Novak Djokovic has enjoyed two good weeks on red clay but admitted that winning a second French Open title would be a tall order after a crushing defeat by Rafael Nadal in last week's Italian Open final.
Djokovic clinched the Madrid Open without dropping a set and then won a pair of epic battles against Argentines Juan Martin Del Potro and Diego Schwartzman in Rome before succumbing to the imperious Nadal 6-0 4-6 6-1 in Sunday's final.
That defeat aside, the Serb's form seems to have peaked in time for the May 26-June 9 tournament. However, the 32-year-old from Belgrade, who has won 15 Grand Slam titles, made it clear Nadal, who is the same age, was the favorite at Roland Garros.
He also named Austrian Dominic Thiem, the 25-year-old world number four, and 11th-ranked Italian Fabio Fognini, who is 31, as strong contenders.
"Nadal (is) the number one favorite without a doubt, and then everyone else," a serene Djokovic told reporters after he was beaten by the Spaniard at the Foro Italico.
"I think it's going to be a really good tournament. Dominic Thiem has been playing some good tennis and he can beat anybody, especially on clay.
"Fognini is also playing quality tennis, he showed against Nadal in Monte Carlo what he is capable of," he added referring to the Italian's 6-4 6-2 semi-final victory.
"On a given day, best of five (sets), with one day between matches, players will have enough time to really be at their best.
"Everybody is trying to peak for Roland Garros and I am really looking forward to it."
PATCHY FORM
Djokovic's exploits on clay came after several months of patchy form following his January triumph at the Australian Open in Melbourne where he beat Nadal in straight sets.
A quarter-final loss in Monte Carlo came on the back of early exits at Indian Wells and Miami, prompting speculation by pundits that Djokovic was heading for a dip in form similar to the one in 2016 after he won his maiden French Open title.
But the Serb silenced his critics with a vintage run in Rome, including a rip-roaring victory over Del Potro when he saved two match points in the second set before dismantling his close friend in the third.
He then held his nerve against the battling Schwarzman before running out of steam versus, leaving doubts as to whether he will have enough in the tank to match world number two Nadal for energy during the grueling two-week event in Paris.
Djokovic has already achieved the rare feat of holding all four major honors at the same time, having won the 2015 Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles before clinching the Australian Open and French Open crowns the following year.
After two difficult years dogged by an injury which required elbow surgery and a dramatic loss of form, Djokovic bounced back spectacularly to clinch the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open titles again in 2018 as well as this year's Australian Open.
He is certainly buoyed by the prospect of emulating his achievement of holding all four majors but knows that nothing less than perfection will be required for what would amount to a carbon copy of his most successful 12 months on tour.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


Clic here to read the story from its source.