“What difference does it make approaching the Australian Open now being a Grand Slam winner?
To be honest, it’s not much different from a Grand Slam itself. I would say it gave me more confidence for all the tournaments I played after this title. (US Open 2021). Before, I could be a little upset, a little nervous when I didn’t play well, when I even lost a set in training. Today I feel like I know a little more about what I can do, how I can play, what I have to do to play like this. Of course, tennis is made of ups and downs, you never know what is going to happen. But this title at the US Open gave me a lot of confidence, in my life and also in my career as a tennis player. I feel much more armed in terms of knowing my game and what I can do.
“It’s definitely a difficult situation for everyone”
Obviously, there are many uncertainties surrounding Novak Djokovic and his participation or not in the tournament. It affects you?
Let’s wait and see tomorrow (this Saturday night, 23:30 French time). I mean, about the Novak situation, we’re in Australia, it’s their rules. But from what I know, again, if you have a valid exemption to be in this country and do whatever you want, then you should play. If the waiver is invalid or something else is invalid, any country can deny you entry.
I know the prime minister (the Minister of Immigration, more precisely, editor’s note)Yesterday he said no. I haven’t really read why anywhere. I would be interested to know the reason. Just said “I do not want” ? Is there a real legal reason behind this? I think we’ll know a little more on the call. It is definitely a difficult situation for everyone. As far as I’m concerned, even if Novak is in the draw, I can only face him in the final. I need to win six matches first! It shouldn’t change my preparation for the tournament.
The other complex issue is that of the Chinese player Peng Shuai. How do you feel about this situation?
It was not easy for anyone to see a missing person in some way. I’ve seen some interviews with her. The situation is delicate. No one but herself can know what she is going through and what is happening right now. That’s why I really don’t want to comment too much on this. I just hope he is safe and feeling good, mentally and physically. And that, only she can tell us. »
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