Sweden's Mikael Ymer had 127 possible players to draw against and got Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic as an opponent in the first round in Paris.

Ymer got the message when he was home and ran on the treadmill.

- At first I thought: "Oh damn, how sick anyway ...".

But then he came up with better ideas.

- I will do my best and see how it goes.

I hope it will be a good experience and a good gauge of where you stand, says Ymer.

Few matches

The French championships are always played at the turn of the month May-June in a pre-summer hot Paris.

But when the corona pandemic struck and paralyzed all sports, the organizers were quick to move the competition to September-October.

So it will be an autumn-like Paris that meets the players.

- I actually think it's quite nice, says Ymer.

It's a little cold and windy, but it's okay.

It's just fun for me to get back on the field and to play matches.

Since Mikael Ymer played the heroic role against Chile in the Davis Cup in March and arranged a place for Sweden in the playoffs, there have hardly been any matches for the 80-ranked 22-year-old.

He lost in the first round of the US Open in August and has failed to qualify for two tournaments in Europe in September.

The world is watching

Now he is charging for Paris and the match against Djokovic on the center court at the classic Roland Garros.

Big brother Elias Ymer lost in the qualifiers, so Mikael is alone in the family to play in the main tournament which started on Sunday.

He is unsure of his form.

- Even if you play well in training, it can feel different in such a situation with pressure and almost the whole world watching, he says and notes that he tries to prepare as before a regular match.

- What happens on Tuesday, it happens on Tuesday, he adds.

He could have gotten a lighter draw that gave him a better chance to advance in the tournament.

But Ymer likes the challenge.

- I think this is what you have worked for since you were little, to play in the big arenas against the world set.

ARCHIVE: Mikael Ymer's odd battle (10 May 2020):

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Wrong turn Mikael Ymer offers blows between the legs.

But he lost the point against Elias Ymer.

Photo: SVT