French tennis star is in town for the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. We had a brief chat with him about his 2017.
1. After a very successful 2017, how do you feel the season went overall?
Overall the season was good. My clay court season was extraordinary and everything else until the US Open was decent. Everything after that was not satisfying for me, because I still struggle indoors on the fast surfaces.
2. You’re the second seed– how does that affect you going into the tournament?
Seedings don’t affect the way I am going into a tournament, but it is a good feeling obviously, because that means that I’ve had a good season.
3. All eyes are going to be on Djokovic after such a long time out – you will hopefully be facing him. What’s it like playing against Novak?
For sure all eyes will be on him because he didn't play for a long time but I'm sure he will be back very strong. I am sure the atmosphere will be great.
4. Tell us what your life is like away from the court.
My life apart from tennis courts is very good, I love doing other sports, especially soccer, reading a good book and spending time with my friends. Due to my busy schedule as tennis player I hardly ever see them.
5. Apart from the tennis, what are you looking forward to in Abu Dhabi?
I have been to the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi once, it was amazing so I would love to go back there.
6. Who is the greatest ever tennis player and why?
For me there are two. Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal], not only because of the multiple Grand Slam titles, but because of the fact that they still love the sport so much. They have won pretty much every title in the world, but
you would never ever see them getting tired of what they are doing.
7. What is your ultimate aim in tennis and what does it mean to you?
My ultimate goal, and I guess every others tennis player is it, to win a grand slam title because it's the biggest title you can achieve in our sport.
8. What is it like being around at the same time as Federer, Djokovic and Nadal – three of the greatest ever?
It's amazing and I’m happy and proud and I’m feeling honored that I had already many matches against these three players. Having three of the greatest players of all time in my generation is a very special feeling.
9. We hear you’re a Chelsea fan, what do you think of this season so far?
I’m satisfied with Chelsea’s season so far, I hope they will be top four in the premier league so they can play in the Champions League next season again and then I hope that they go deep in Champions league this season.
10. You’re known as a nice guy of tennis – why is it important to stay humble?
I’m a nice guy in general and there is no reason to change that only because I’m a tennis player. It's important to be kind and respectful to everybody, not only towards your opponents and fans.
From Dhs100 (adults, one day), Dhs50 (kids 2-12, one day); from Dhs550 (three-day package). Thu, Dec 28-Sat, Dec 30. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, www.mubadalawtc.com (800 86 823).