French Open: Novak Djokovic’s issues are nothing when people are ‘starving to death’

Serbian progresses to the third round while Alexander Zverev struggles to understand the Yorkshire accent

Novak Djokovic 2018 French Open tennis Grand Slam
Novak Djokovic beat Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar in the French Open second round in Paris
(Image credit: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic says the challenges he faces on a tennis court are nothing compared to some of the real issues around the world, the BBC reports.

Speaking after his second-round victory over Jaume Munar at the French Open yesterday, the Serbian former world No.1 was asked how tough it was on court against the qualifier from Spain.

Djokovic, 31, is struggling to find his best form after battling back from elbow surgery and the 20th seed said: “To sit here and talk about how tough it is and you have people starving to death, for me there is no point talking about that [his issues].

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“It’s just the way it is. As an athlete I have to face these challenges. I’m not playing at the level I wish to but I’m trying not to give up.”

Despite the difficulties The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell says that Djokovic “stands tall among stuttering pretenders” to Rafael Nadal’s crown.

Mitchell writes: “He could get to the quarter‑finals; once there, he might even find another gear or two, which was his trademark in his pomp. Certainly the former champion is in shape comparable to that of younger contenders in Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov.”

After his 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-4 win over Munar, 2016 French Open winner Djokovic will face 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round in Paris.

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Zverev loves the Yorkshire accent

After his victory against Dusan Lajovic, Germany’s Alexander Zverev faced the media to answer questions about his chances in Paris - and the big issue was he could not understand one reporter’s Yorkshire accent.

The second seed was asked “do you think Roland-Garros could be a turning point?”, to which a confused Zverev politely replied to the Yorkshireman: “Where you from, buddy? I didn’t understand a word.”

Following the exchange, Zverev did promise the reporter that if a future tournament was held in Yorkshire he would go there because of the accent.

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