“I don’t want to get too excited” – Djokovic keeping expectations low after first-round victory at Roland-Garros

Despite a straight sets win in round one, Novak Djokovic is hesitant to alter his expectations for this year’s Roland-Garros

Djokovic Roland-Garros 2024 1 Baptiste Autissier / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic got his title defence off to a winning start on Tuesday, defeating French wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 at Roland-Garros.

Following the victory, the 24-time Grand Slam champion remained circumspect about his chances in Paris, citing previous positive starts to tournaments in 2024.

“Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Geneva tournaments started really well for me. First matches I played were great,” explained Djokovic. “Then second matches, third matches (smiling) was quite different. 

“So I don’t want to get too excited.”

Djokovic happy with performance against Herbert

There were some encouraging signs from the Serbian, however, as he highlighted that he’s feeling better than he has all year.

“Honestly, [I’m enjoying] here much more than basically any other tournament this year that I played except Australia, you know. Even Australia was kind of, a sense of a bit of an uphill battle in terms of how I was feeling on the court.

“Again, this is only one match here. So we have to see, see how I progress in the tournament, how the feeling evolves, but it was good.”

The three-time Roland-Garros champion even shared how his motivation levels are stronger this tournament, compared to previous events in 2024.

“You know, I was fist pumping, I was focused, I was there, I was present. So I’m pleased with the way at least I behaved or had a mindset on the court. That was something that I was looking for. And where are you going to feel that way if not in Grand Slams? 

“It’s something that I have been saying from the beginning of the year and from the last whatever years that Grand Slams are the ones that are basically getting me up from the bed every day and knowing that I have to hit the practice courts. I always think about what I can do in Grand Slams.”

Next up, Djokovic will face Roberto Carbaelles Baena in the second round, against whom he owns a 2-0 head-to-head.

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