French Open Preview - originally posted by tangerine_dream
French Open Preview
CHRISTOPHER CLAREY (IHT): Let's talk Djokovic for a moment. Anything you see in his game on clay that you do or don't see on hard courts?
PHILIPPE BOUIN (L'Equipe, France): Some forehand "arrondis". Chris help me please on that one.
CLAREY: Rounding off his forehands? Rounding up the new Kosovo parliament?
BOUIN: Yes, he's rounding off the forehand to get a little more time when he is under pressure, instead of hitting flat and fast.
TOM TEBBUTT (The Globe & Mail, Canada): In Hamburg, I thought his crosscourt backhand when Nadal hit the monster forehand into it was five times better than Roger's in the same situation. Plus he showed some patience and ability to unsettle Rafa with aggressive hitting that Roger has not been able to do very often.z
BOUIN: Yes but remember, he is using the two-handed backhand. That helps.
CLAREY: His backhand is truly a marvel: the way he can generate flat down-the-line pace from extreme positions in an open stance.
JON WERTHEIM (Sports Illustrated, USA): I think I wrote last year that Djokovic might be at his best on clay. It rewards his efficiency and patience, and I think he's a better athlete than most people think. It also can't hurt to have 20-year-old legs.
RENE STAUFFER (Tages-Anzeiger, Switzerland): And Djokovic is getting less and less angry at himself on court. That makes him more dangerous.
CLAREY: So is he number two on the pecking order going in? Or still number three?
BOUIN: Two and a half, even with Roger.
WERTHEIM: Two and a half.
TEBBUTT: Definitely number two. But that could be better for Roger.
STAUFFER: Number 3. He has never beaten Roger on clay so far, lost in Monte Carlo.
TEBBUTT: What are the odds on Betfair?
BOUIN: Integrity, integrity!