June 14, 2024

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Is Novak Djokovic right to play the week before the French Open?

ATP Masters Series: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters - Day Six
Novak Djokovic has had a difficult start to the 2024 season

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After the disappointment of the Italian Open, Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation at the Geneva Open 2024. The tournament, played just a week before the French Open, will be the Serbian’s dress rehearsal before the main event in Paris.

This will be Djokovic’s first time competing at the Geneva Open and the 36-year-old will start the tournament as the top seed. The Serbian has had a difficult start to the season, where he has failed to reach a final, let alone win a trophy.

Novak Djokovic’s trophyless start to the 2024 season

It’s almost time for Roland Garros and Novak Djokovic is yet to win a trophy in 2024. The Serbian has suffered a slow start to the season, where he has struggled for form and consistency.

Djokovic was the defending champion at the Australian Open but failed to win a record 11th title in Melbourne, as he was defeated by the eventual winner Jannik Sinner, in the semi-final.

Novak Djokovic waves goodbye to the crowd after his semi-final loss at the Monte Carlo Masters
Novak Djokovic waves goodbye to the crowd after his semi-final loss at the Monte Carlo Masters

The 24-time Grand Slam champion took a little break away from tennis before returning for the Indian Wells Masters, where he was defeated in the third round by Luca Nardi. The Serbian’s inconsistent form continued as he lost to Casper Ruud in the semi-final of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

In his latest assignment, Djokovic suffered yet another shock defeat to Alejandro Tabilo in the third round of the Italian Open. The Serbian has a 12-5 record this season but has failed to challenge for any titles.

Djokovic has looked flat and deflated so far this season. The 36-year-old looks the shadow of the player that won three Grand Slam titles last season along with the ATP Finals. Now, the Serbian has accepted a wildcard invitation for the Geneva Open, as he looks to rediscover his form before his title defense at the French Open.

Can the Geneva Open 2024 help Novak Djokovic rediscover his form?

Despite being an ATP 250, the Geneva Open is set to be very competitive. Djokovic will be joined in the draw by Andy Murray, Taylor Fritz, Jack Draper, Sebastian Baez, and Casper Ruud.

The Serbian has not had the same sense of certainty that we have come to expect from him this season. However, a successful run at the Geneva Open might get Djokovic back to his best form.

Another big advantage of competing in Geneva would be match practice. Djokovic has admitted that he is picking and choosing the tournaments to compete in as he looks after his aging body. However, the Serbian has not spent much time on the court in recent times.

During his third-round defeat at the Italian Open, Djokovic was on the court for just 67 minutes and looked to be rushing in between points. Now, with potentially another four matches in Geneva, the 36-year-old can get back in his rhythm whilst getting some much-needed match practice.

Novak Djokovic could potentially rekindle his rivalry with Andy Murray in the second round. Denis Shapovalov will await Djokovic in the third round with a potential semi-final against Taylor Fritz next. In the final, the Serbian could face either Casper Ruud or Ben Shelton.

Djokovic has history on his side when it comes to competing in a tournament just before the French Open. The Serbian decided to play at the ATP 250 tournament, Belgrade 2, right before the French Open in 2021. Djokovic ended up winning the title in Belgrade, before following it up with another Roland Garros title a couple of weeks later.

The Serbian would hope for a similar outcome in 2024, as he prepares to compete at the Geneva Open. With his current form inconsistent, a good week in Geneva might revitalize Djokovic before his title defense at Roland Garros.

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