Reem's Roland Garros diary: Kvitova returns, Djokovic and Agassi steal the show

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Dream duo: Agassi and Djokovic (Photo via @djokernole on Twitter)

Paris — I touched down in Paris today (Thursday) for the French Open and headed straight to Roland Garros as soon as I landed.

I always arrive at the Slams on the Thursday before the action starts to catch some qualies, make sure I’m here for media day – held on Friday at the French Open – and attend some practices to get an idea of what kind of shape the players are in.

Unfortunately my 1:30pm arrival to Paris meant that I missed two of the most special moments of the day – the return of Petra Kvitova and the first sighting of Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic working together on court.

Kvitova, who was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in her apartment last December, practiced yesterday in Paris and will reveal in a press conference here on Friday whether she will compete at Roland Garros or not. Kvitova’s recovery has gone faster than expected and even if she doesn’t play the French Open, it’s just amazing seeing her hitting again.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was all smiles during her practice session with Safarova on Thursday, under the watchful eye of her coach Jiri Vanek.

Meanwhile, journalists and fans gathered at Court 5 to watch Djokovic and Agassi step on court together for the first time in Paris. With 20 Grand Slam titles between them, the powerhouse duo were the centre of attention and I must say I still can’t believe we’re going to be having Agassi around again for a little while.

(Photo via @rolandgarros on Twitter)

(Photo via @rolandgarros on Twitter)

Kvitova was not the only player making a long-awaited appearance. Aussie youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis, who hasn’t played a major since the 2015 US Open having struggled with a series of injuries, was in good spirits on Thursday as he hit the practice courts. He’ll be playing in the main draw thanks to a protected ranking.

I watched Rafael Nadal practice with Jack Sock on Court Philippe Chatrier for a good two hours where the nine-time Roland Garros champion was pummeling the ball with so much gusto, I half wished he saved some of it for the actual tournament.

Both players then filmed a promotional video with their common Babolat court-side.

Meanwhile in qualies, Tunisian Ons Jabeur is just one win away from her first Roland Garros main draw after she dismissed Viktoria Kamenskaya 7-6 (2), 6-1. She faces Japan’s Miyu Kato on Friday in the final round of qualifying.

“Roland-Garros is a place where I have a lot of memories from playing in the juniors, and it’s amazing to win – especially with so many Tunisians who have come here to support me. I hope to continue and play even better tomorrow,” Jabeur told RolandGarros.com – referring to her 2011 French Open girls’ title triumph.

18-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (ATP No202), who was junior world No1 this time last year, qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw with wins over Thomas Fabbiano, Gleb Sakharov, and Oscar Otte.

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To mark the Novak Djokovic’s big Three O – we look back at 30 times the Serb has managed to impress us.

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Share with us your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

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Novak Djokovic is Lacoste's new main man

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New deal: For Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic’s long-rumoured sponsorship deal with Lacoste was officially announced on Monday, which happens to coincide with the Serbian star’s 30th birthday.

Djokovic, whose five-year deal with Uniqlo has expired, will debut his Lacoste gear at next week’s French Open, where he is the defending champion.

“The Novak Djokovic collection is a line of performance products that fuse functionality with style,” read a press release from Lacoste. “This wardrobe, perfect for the players who, like Novak Djokovic, pay attention to all the details of a game, will be available in Lacoste boutiques, starting May 2017.

“All the collection items were engineered from materials handpicked for their quality and performance. Every detail is geared towards comfort: ergonomic stitching prevents chaffing while the cuts bring about ease of movement.”

Djokovic’s signature is printed on the left sleeve of the polo shirt whose graphics are inspired by the lines of a tennis court.

Varying touches of blue, white and red challenge the plain background in order to bring about a relaxed and quintessentially French style. White or black shorts come to complete the silhouette.

For its new advertising campaign, the brand imagined a changeover between the two champions, René Lacoste and Djokovic.

The film, directed by Julien Pujol, bears witness to the Brand’s defining moment: the invention of the Lacoste L.12.12 Polo shirt – the day upon which René Lacoste decided to break away from contemporary tennis dress codes by cutting off the sleeves of his shirt in order to allow himself greater freedom of movement.


As the new face of the brand, Djokovic is at the heart of the print campaign shot by photographer Jacob Sutton. The visuals combine 1930s black and white with the present-day collections’ colors. A composition that is a testament to the brand’s timelessness.

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