Roland Garros

Monday, 23 May 2022

Paris, France

James Duckworth

Press Conference

M. YMER/J. Duckworth

6-2, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did it go today? Only your second tournament back. So were you just a bit rusty, not quite on it?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Yeah, it was pretty average. Yeah, it was a pretty bad performance. Yeah, sort of to be expected. I played some okay stuff in practice at times.

But just, yeah, like I've only been hitting on clay for two weeks now. I had hip surgery, it's been just over four months since I played. It wasn't ideal playing after a bit of rain and going on at 6:30, 7:00 at night, just with everything, with the conditions then being really heavy didn't help me.

But, yeah, I was aware that these first few weeks it's going to be pretty tough.

Q. To recap, you had the surgery straight after the Australian Open?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Yeah. January 21st, actually, yeah.

Q. Did you know that that was coming or was it just one of those things?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Well, I had finished my last match of the year in Paris and then woke up the next day and I couldn't bend, and that was sort of it for the next six weeks. Yeah, I had a couple of cortisones to try to play the Aussie summer, didn't help. And, yeah, it was pretty much inevitable.

Q. Given that, are you sort of putting any goals in place for the rest of the year? Do you just steadily build up?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: If I could get healthy that would be nice, yeah. If I could get back to 100 percent, that would be nice, yeah.

Q. You're saying, I think, that it's basically the love of the sport that keeps you going, otherwise you might just have called this a day some time ago.

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Yeah, I've had nine surgeries now, which is not ideal. But, yeah, I love playing tennis. I love being at these big events especially.

Obviously, yeah, it's tough, you know, playing. I really enjoy the French Open. Not being able to play at a very good level at all is hard, but just have to accept sort of where I'm at.

Q. And you did so well at the end of last year. Do you feel that you can still make big indents back in, get back into the top 50?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Yeah, I mean, I hope so. I felt like, yeah, I was playing pretty well and I sort of played well for about the last four, five months and, yeah, got into the top 50. The goal is to get healthy again and hopefully the level can get back there also.

Q. When another injury crops up each time, what is your immediate reaction?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: It's pretty upsetting, really. Yeah, especially ones where you get a scan result back and you speak to a doctor and they say, Yeah, you've got an impingement in your hip, you've torn the labrum. Is there anything other than surgery that will fix this? It's unlikely. So it's like, well, yeah, I can't really rehab it.

Yeah, it's pretty hard.

Q. Have you calculated how many weeks over the years that you've spent in hospitals or on operating tables?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Well, I mean, I've had nine surgeries, that's probably nine days. They've only been like overnight sort of stays, so, yeah. But it's more the time, yeah, that I've missed, the tournaments that I've missed, and the time that I spent rehabbing. Yeah, it's been a lot.

Q. A lot of players are getting asked about their approach to Wimbledon and where there's no points and if they're better off playing elsewhere. Have you got a plan in mind regarding that?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: I haven't really looked. I don't think there really is much of an option to play elsewhere, maybe a challenger. But, yeah, it's a tricky situation.

I don't know what the right answer is. You know, you understand why they're doing it. But, yeah, it seems like there's no good scenario, whichever way you go about it.

So it's a really difficult position, that's all I can say.

Q. Can I ask a little bit more about your dad, who is a surgeon. What is his advice and attitude towards you through all of this? Is he a great help to you?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: Well, I mean, it's obviously helpful having someone like him to guide me through my options and, yeah, sort of give me advice on the best route to go down. Yeah, he's been supportive, along with the rest of my family.

It's also helpful my girlfriend's a general surgeon as well, so I got help from her as well. So I got some opinions, which is great (laughing). But, yeah, getting on the operating table isn't super fun.

Q. When is the wedding?

JAMES DUCKWORTH: I don't know yet, we haven't decided.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120609-1-1044 2022-05-23 19:37:00 GMT

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