Navone wants revenge on grass: “I hope to adapt quickly”

The Argentine will seek his first victory on the surface at Queen’s Club

June 17, 2024

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Mariano Navone competes in his first ATP main draw on grass.
By Staff

Mariano Navone’s debut on grass, 12 months ago, was not easy to digest. Facing Ricardas Berankis in Wimbledon qualifying, he won just three games after 60 minutes of play. Of course, he was far from feeling disappointed.

“It was crazy because I won a Challenger on clay and then the next day, Sunday, I trained indoors on hard courts. Then when I played on grass on Monday, I thought, ‘What is this? What’s going on?’. Because the feeling was totally different from a clay court or a hard court. It was my first time and it was a different experience, a challenge!”

Twelve months later, Navone is set to compete on the surface for the second time when he takes on Jack Draper at the Cinch Championships on Tuesday. It will be his first match on a grass court in an ATP Tour main draw. The six-time ATP Challenger Tour champion will hope to find his rhythm on the surface this week, using last year’s experience as a learning curve.

“I didn’t have time to prepare last year. This time I prepared more, I have been practicing on grass since Thursday. I hope for a good tournament, but I know it’s my first time, so it’s different when you have experience. I think my backhand works well on grass. It’s better because I hit the ball fast.”

“I can also control the ball easier on this surface and I like to change quickly and hit the ball parallel. My return is very important on grass. “She is good on clay, so I hope I can adapt quickly.”

Navone grew up competing on clay in Argentina and has played the majority of his matches on this surface, reaching the finals in Rio de Janeiro and Bucharest earlier this year on the ATP Tour. Thanks to that, No. 29 in the PIF ATP Rankings now receives more attention from fans. The 23-year-old says that he has enjoyed this new aspect of his life.

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“When I returned after [Roland Garros]people recognized me on the streets and in the bars people wanted to take some photos with me,” said Navone. “I went to a restaurant and people recognized me. “I like to give back love to people and children.”

“The most important thing is the children. When I was a kid I saw Nalbandian and thought, ‘Wow, what a superstar.’ When I saw David Ferrer this year in Rio at the ceremony, he hugged me and I spoke a few words to him and it was crazy. He was my idol, so he is really cool.”


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