ATP

Djokovic admits 'of course, I am worried' ahead of French Open title defence

By Sports Desk May 25, 2024

Novak Djokovic admits he is concerned by his performance levels this season ahead of launching his title defence at the French Open.

The world number one's wait for his first silverware of 2024 continued following a semi-final defeat by Tomas Machac in Geneva on Friday.

He also fell in the last four in Melbourne and Monte Carlo, while suffering a shock defeat at the hands of world number 123 Luca Nardi in the last 32 at Indian Wells.

Therefore Djokovic, who split from long-term coach Goran Ivanisevic earlier in the campaign, can be forgiven for not being full of confidence ahead of his latest quest for a record-breaking 25th grand slam singles title at Roland Garros.

"Of course, I am worried. I haven't been playing well at all this year," he said after his defeat to Machac.

"It's not enjoyment when you are suffering on the court feeling this way. You're not able to focus on tennis when you have other stuff happening. I just hope I can be fit and ready and prepared for Roland Garros.

"I don't want to take anything away from his win, he deserved it. I don't know what to think about this match, to be honest. I want to forget about it and move on to Paris.

"It was good that I could come here and play more than one match. I played three. I just need to feel better."

Djokovic will become the fourth man in the Open Era to make 20 or more main-draw appearances at the French Open when he begins his campaign against local wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

A run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros - without walkovers - would see him surpass Roger Federer for the most singles match wins at majors.

Although, an early exit could see the 37-year-old surrender top spot in the ATP rankings, with world number two and reigning Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner breathing down his neck. 

"[I've had] some [good] matches here and there, but it is what it is," he added. "You have to accept it. I don't consider myself a favourite there. I'm going to take it match by match and see how far I can go."

Related items

  • Raducanu one of four grand slam winners to get Wimbledon wild cards Raducanu one of four grand slam winners to get Wimbledon wild cards

    Emma Raducanu is one of a record four former grand slam champions to get wild cards into the women's singles draw at Wimbledon.

    Raducanu missed most of last year, including Wimbledon, after being forced to undergo wrist and ankle surgeries.

    The 2021 US Open champion has slipped to 165th in the WTA rankings after enduring a difficult few years, and she was beaten by fellow Brit and eventual champion Katie Boulter in the Nottingham Open semi-finals on Sunday.

    Raducanu is one of an unprecedented four former major champions to be handed wild cards for the women's draw by the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

    Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber, who won the 2018 edition of Wimbledon, have all been granted entry.

    All seven wild cards for the men's singles draw, meanwhile, have gone to British players, Liam Broady chief among them.

    The third grand slam of 2024 gets under way on July 1, with the women's singles final being held on July 13 and the men's showpiece taking place the following day.

  • Medvedev dumped out of Halle Open by Zhang Medvedev dumped out of Halle Open by Zhang

    Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the Halle Open in the second round on Wednesday, succumbing to a 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) defeat to Chinese number one Zhang Zhizhen.

    Medvedev looked to be on course for the third round at 5-3 up in the decisive tie-break, but Zhang won four successive points to reach the last eight.

    Zhang had earlier dropped six straight games from 2-2 in the second set, but he responded to losing an early break in the decider with one of his own to restore parity, then came on strong in the tie-break.

    He will face Christopher Eubanks in the next round after the American eliminated defending champion Alexander Bublik with a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 victory.

    Meanwhile, second seed Alexander Zverev avoided an upset as he saw off a spirited performance from Lorenzo Sonego, winning 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to tee up a meeting with Arthur Fils.

    Data Debrief: Zhang breaks new ground

    Zhang's victory saw him become the first Chinese player to reach the Halle Open quarter-finals, also representing his second top-five victory after he beat Casper Ruud at last year's US Open.

  • Andy Murray retires injured at Queen's Andy Murray retires injured at Queen's

    Andy Murray's likely final appearance at the Queen's Club Championships ended in disappointment on Wednesday as he was forced to retire from his second-round match against Jordan Thompson.

    Murray beat Alexei Popyri in his 1,000th match on the ATP Tour on Monday to tee up his contest with Thompson, who broke the Scot's serve in the very first game.

    Five-time Queen's champion Murray looked uncomfortable right from the off and asked for a medical timeout after holding in the third game, receiving treatment on his back and hip.

    He attempted to continue but had to retire just two games later, giving a rueful look as he waved farewell to the crowd.

    Murray has repeatedly said he is likely to retire later this year, though he has expressed a wish to play at both Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Paris, for which he was included in Team GB's squad on Monday.

    Wimbledon begins on July 1, with Murray hoping to appear at a fourth straight edition of the competition he has won twice, after sitting out the 2018 and 2019 tournaments. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.