Tennis News Today: Marion Bartoli shares Novak Djokovic's biggest challenge involving his family; Frances Tiafoe's girlfriend defends him against criticism

Novak Djokovic, Frances Tiafoe girlfriend Ayan Broomfield
Novak Djokovic (L) and Frances Tiafoe with his girlfriend Ayan Broomfield

Former tennis pro Marion Bartoli mentioned that Novak Djokovic's main issue is balancing time with his family. Meanwhile, Frances Tiafoe's girlfriend Ayan Broomfield defended him against criticism following his French Open first-round win.

Iga Swiatek requested the crowd in Paris not to scream during rallies after a tough match against Naomi Osaka. Meanwhile, Sofia Kenin apologized to the French audience after defeating local favorite Caroline Garcia.

On that note, here's a quick recap of the day's biggest headlines:

Marion Bartoli discusses Novak Djokovic's "biggest problem"

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Marion Bartoli discussed Novak Djokovic's mental struggles after speaking with his team members. She suggested that the Serb's "biggest problem" now is balancing time between his family and his tennis career.

Djokovic has been having a rather underwhelming year so far, without securing a single title. He failed to defend his Australian Open title and is not considered the favorite at the ongoing French Open, despite being the defending champion.

Bartoli sat down on the set of Prime Video and said (via We Love Tennis):

"I was lucky enough to have a discussion with one of his staff members before the tournament started. In fact, the biggest problem they have to deal with Novak at the moment is that there are days when he wakes up with his motivation intact."
"And there are days when, we can understand him, he wants to be with his wife, his children, to take them to school, to lead a normal life, to be at the beach, to enjoy and to tell himself that he has accomplished everything. He oscillates between these two emotions and that's why sometimes he's completely absent from the court," the former Wimbledon champion added.

Frances Tiafoe's girlfriend Ayan Broomfield defends him against criticism following French Open 1R win

Frances Tiafoe's 2024 season hasn't been ideal so far, with only one final appearance at the Houston Open, where he was defeated by fellow American Ben Shelton.

Tiafoe began his French Open campaign on May 27 against Mattia Bellucci. The match was tough, extending to five sets, but the American ultimately prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.

Tiafoe later took to Instagram and made a post with the following caption:

"Nothing good comes easy..... round 1 (green tick emoji). See y'all again tomorrow (three fist emojis). #godspeed #humble&hungry #darkhorse."

An Instagram user commented under the post:

"Man you not him right now bro you need to get some wins."

Tiafoe's girlfriend, Ayan Broomfield, had enough of the criticism and defended her boyfriend, writing:

"He’s been him. Always him. Take your negativity elsewhere (followed by two heart emojis)"

Iga Swiatek pleads with the French Open crowd not to "scream"

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek survived a scare from four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka at Roland-Garros on May 29. The Japanese dominated the Pole for most of the match, but the defending champion managed to find her footing in the end and emerged victorious with a score of 7-6(1), 1-6, 7-5.

During her on-court interview, Swiatek expressed her frustration with the crowd and requested them not to "scream" during rallies, as it disrupts a player's focus.

"I have huge respect for you guys and I know we are playing for you, but sometimes under a lot of pressure when you scream something during the rally, it’s really hard to be focused," the 22-year-old said.
"I usually don’t bring this up because I want to be a player that’s in the zone and focused. But this is serious for us. We’re fighting our whole lives to be better and better. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that. The stakes are big. There’s a lot of money to win. Losing a few points may change a lot," she added.

Sofia Kenin apologizes to Paris crowd after defeating home favorite Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia (L) and Sofia Kenin pictured at the 2024 French Open
Caroline Garcia (L) and Sofia Kenin pictured at the 2024 French Open

Sofia Kenin delivered an impressive performance in her 2024 French Open second-round match against home favorite Caroline Garcia. The American defeated the Frenchwoman 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the third round of the Claycourt slam.

Kenin then heaped praise on Garcia and apologized to the crowd for defeating their favorite player during her on-court interview.

"You know, [Caroline Garcia's] such a tough player, and I'm sorry that I had to win. But, thank you guys for supporting and I really enjoyed the atmosphere today," the American said.

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