Novak Djokovic: "I'm worried...I don't see myself as a favorite in French Open 2024"

Novak Djokovic French Open
Novak Djokovic to start his French Open campaign against Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Novak Djokovic has expressed concerns about his form ahead of the 2024 French Open, scheduled from May 26 to June 9. The Serb is the defending champion at the Claycourt Major.

Djokovic's 2024 season has been rather underwhelming. He could not defend his title at the Australian Open earlier in the year. He also experienced unexpected third-round exits at the Indian Wells Masters and the Italian Open, along with a semifinal exit in Monte-Carlo.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion was accidentally struck in the head by a heavy metal water bottle during his time in Rome and his form hasn't been optimal since then. He participated in the Geneva Open to gain some practice ahead of Roland Garros but lost to World No. 44 Tomas Machac 4-6, 6-0, 1-6 in the semifinal on May 23.

Djokovic, who displayed signs of physical discomfort during his match against Machac, spoke to the media afterwards, admitting that he wasn't happy at all with how he played and would rather "forget" the "horrible" feelings.

"I didn't have a great night, and today was tough," Djokovic said. "I had horrible feelings during the first part of the match. I don't want to take any credit away from Tomas (Machac), who deserved his victory, but I don't know what to think of this match. I prefer to forget it."

The 37-year-old added:

"I don't know how I was able to win the second set either. The results are good. I was hoping to play more than one match when I came here, and I played three. But I wish I could feel better."

Djokovic downplayed expectations ahead of his campaign at the French Open, which will commence on May 26 against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, mentioning that he will try to approach the tournament one match at a time.

"Of course I'm worried," he said. "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 favorite in Paris. I will try to take the matches one after the other."

Novak Djokovic could face arch-rival Rafael Nadal in French Open 2024 SF

Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal pictured at the 2022 French Open
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal pictured at the 2022 French Open

This year's French Open is as thrilling as it gets, with the potential for a blockbuster showdown between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal looming in the semifinals.

Before potentially facing Nadal in the last four, the Serb will need to navigate past Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Roberto Carballes Baena, Lorenzo Musetti, Tommy Paul, and Casper Ruud. Similarly, the Spaniard's path to the semifinals involves overcoming challenges posed by Alexander Zverev, David Goffin, Tallon Griekspoor, Holger Rune, and Daniil Medvedev. (These matchups are all projections except for the first rounds).

The last time Nadal and Djokovic met on the ATP Tour was at Roland Garros, where the 22-time Grand Slam champion emerged victorious over his arch-rival in the quarterfinals and went on to win the title.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now