After his defeat in Geneva, Djokovic confirms his concerns: “I don’t see myself as a favourite in Paris”

Novak Djokovic succumbed to Tomas Machac in the Geneva semi-finals and there is cause for a lot of concern — particularly physically — in the run-up to Roland-Garros.

Novak Djokovic - Geneva 2024 Novak Djokovic – Geneva 2024 Image Credot: Martial Trezzini/AP/SIPA

Beaten in the semi-finals of the Gonet Geneva Open by Tomas Machac (6-4, 0-6, 6-1) on Friday, Novak Djokovic will head to Roland-Garros amidst a cloud of uncertainty. Worse, he continues to show worrying physical signs a few days before one of the most important tournaments of his season. The Serb has still not played a final in 2024.

At the Geneva tournament, Djokovic was hoping to find answers for his ailments. It’s safe to say, however, that he did not.

His semi-final against Machac was challenging right from the start. At the end of the first set, visibly hampered with his movement, the world No 1 at times did not even try to retrieve some of the Czech’s shots. Djokovic started well with an early break in the opening set and he dominated the second, but patches of success were few and far between. As he did late in the first, the top seed lost his way in the third.

Djokovic’s first round match at Roland-Garros — against Pierre-Hugues Herbert — is scheduled for Tuesday. Needless to say, there is a sense of urgency.

“Of course I’m worried,” the 37-year-old said at his press conference, as reported by RFJ. “I haven’t played well at all this year, apart from a few matches here and there. Things are what they are. I don’t see myself as a favourite in Paris. I will try to take it match by match.”


Seized with shaking tremors during a change of ends, Djokovic even called the doctor at the end of the first set against Machac. Djokovic seemed to improve in the second, but he could not maintain it in the third.

In front of the media, he spoke of a bad night — perhaps the origin of this poor form.

Novak Djokovic - Geneva 2024
Novak Djokovic – Geneva 2024 Image Credot: Martial Trezzini/AP/SIPA

“I didn’t have a great night, and today was difficult,” Djokovic admitted. “I had horrible feelings during the first part of the match. I don’t want to take any credit away from Tomas, who deserved his victory, but I don’t know what to think of this match. I prefer to forget it.”

At the same time, he also tried to put things in perspective: “The results were good (in Geneva). I hoped to play more than one match when I came here, and I played three. But I would like to be able to feel better. It’s not pleasant to suffering like this on the court. It’s hard to concentrate on tennis when you have other worries on your mind. I just hope to be ready and healthy for Roland-Garros.”

We will get the answer starting in four days, when Djokovic will absolutely have to raise his level if he wants to retain the title in Paris.

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