German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann takes on Rafael Nadal in the first round of the French Open and he has mixed feelings about the same. “I realised straight away that as the main draw for all the qualifiers was being made around that time, it could only mean one thing,” smiled the German.
“And when I checked, sure enough…” He further added, “Of course, I wasn’t really happy with the draw overall but, on the other hand, it’s an unbelievable experience that’s coming towards me”.
He is also confident about doing some damage to the Spaniard. “I have been playing well. I’ve got a big game, I’ve won all six sets I’ve played (in qualifying), I’m definitely feeling comfortable here.
So if my serve and return works, I can definitely do some damage”. “I won’t go into the match thinking I’ve no chance because that would be stupid. I’ll have a match plan ready. I’ll know a lot about him - and maybe he doesn’t know as much about me!” He then spoke about the atmosphere in the stadium, saying, “I can hear roughly only 60% of what you should normally be able to hear in each ear,” he explains.
“Sometimes, it’s an advantage on court - maybe on Chatrier, it’ll be an advantage because I don’t hear that much that’s going on - but, overall, I don’t think in tennis it’s that much of an disadvantage because I’m just able to blend out a lot of the noise”.
“I’ll still get all the atmosphere on Chatrier on Monday; there’s this thing about my hearing that when it gets loud, I’ll hear as good as the next guy, but female voices I have much more trouble hearing”.
“I think the distance between my box and the court is a bit too far for me to hear anything, so they’d have to yell! But that’s okay - I don’t need coaching,” he assessed.