Away from the Grand Slam tournaments, the generational change in men's tennis has already begun a few years ago. What happened in the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo is a further confirmation of this. Novak Djokovic left the scene already in the second round at the hands of the revelation Daniel Evans, who took advantage of the bad day of the number 1 ATP from every point of view.
The Belgrade champion himself admitted at a press conference that he had played one of the worst matches of his career on clay. The next day Rafael Nadal, eleven times champion in the Principality, left the tournament, surrendering in three sets to a wild Andrey Rublev.
The Spaniard also paid dearly for a return well below the sufficiency, especially in the serve and with the backhand. However, some clarifications must be made: both Nole and Rafa were returning to the circuit after more than two months, as both had played their last tournament at the Australian Open.
Speaking to reporters after the marathon with Rublev ended in the spotlight, the 34-year-old from Manacor pointed out how too much emphasis is placed in the face of the defeats of the Big 3 (Roger Federer, the same Rafa and Djokovic).
"Me, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have lost so little for so many years, that every time a stumbling block happens, it immediately becomes sensational news" - explained the 20-time Grand Slam champion, whose goal is to reach 100% in Paris.
We must never forget that in tennis there is only one player who wins every week, so everyone else loses," he added. Nadal commented clearly on his performance: "You can't expect to beat a top player like Rublev by serving so badly.
I don't even remember how many breaks I suffered, six or seven I think. When the first shot is a disaster, the whole game suffers. I think the backhand was also not up to par, it was often short and I couldn't open the field as I usually do."
OFFICIAL: Roland Garros 2021 postponed by a week!
The news was in the air, but now it's official: the Roland Garros in Paris, initially scheduled to start next May 17th, will slip by a week instead, so it will be held from May 24th (with the start of the billboard qualification) as of June 13, 2021.
The situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in France has in fact worsened in recent hours, forcing President Emmanuel Macron to proclaim a third national lockdown last Saturday. The press release published on the Roland Garros website reads: "In agreement with the French public authorities and the governing bodies of international tennis, the French Tennis Federation has taken the responsible decision to postpone the 2021 edition of Roland Garros.
a week long, with the tournament taking place now from May 24th to June 13th. In his last speech on March 31, the President announced that a program for the progressive restoration of cultural and sporting events, subject to the improvement of the health situation, will be established from mid-May.
Using this as a starting point, the FFT worked closely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the relevant government departments on possible scenarios for the organization of Roland Garros, while taking into account the international sporting calendar.
In this context, it seemed that the best solution was to postpone the tournament by a week. The qualifying rounds will therefore be held from Monday 24th to Friday 28th May and will be followed by those of the main draw, from 30th May to 13th June ”.
The decision to move the competition by seven days also means that there will be only two weeks before the start of the Wimbledon tournament, canceled in 2020, which starts on June 18. The knock-on effects on the rest of the ATP and WTA calendar of the year are inevitable, especially for the first events on grass which now see themselves threatened by the dangerous expansion of the season on clay.