“I'm going in the right direction” – Novak Djokovic gains confidence from straight-set victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in French Open 1R

Novak Djokovic beats Pierre-Hugues Herbert. PHOTO: GETTY
Novak Djokovic beats Pierre-Hugues Herbert. PHOTO: GETTY

Novak Djokovic has gained confidence from his first-round win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the 2024 French Open. The Serb started his title defense in Paris with a straight-set win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

He hit a total of four aces and converted three break points to secure a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory and advance.

Furthermore, the 37-year-old induced numerous mistakes from Herbert as the World No. 142 committed seven double faults and 31 unforced errors.

Djokovic, who's been trophyless in the season thus far, rated his performance positively in the post-match press conference.

"Yes, it's a straight-sets win. In the moments that really mattered I think I responded very well, I played a great tiebreak, I stood my ground. I'm happy to have started this way and the way I felt on the court," he said.
"If we compare it with the previous weeks I feel good, better. I'm going in the right direction, but this is just the beginning," the Serb added.

Djokovic played in five tournaments, including the Australian Open, Indian Wells Open, Monte-Carlo Masters, Italian Open, and Geneva Open, prior to the French Open. His best performances for the season have been the semifinal appearances in Australia, Monte-Carlo, and Geneva. He reflected on his previous tournaments, saying:

"In Monte-Carlo, Rome [third round], and Geneva I started quite well. The first matches I played were great, but then the second and third matches... They were quite different. I don't want to rush or get too excited. I think I put in a good performance today, solid."

"One of the best kicks I've ever faced" - Novak Djokovic showers praise on Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Novak Djokovic greets Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the 2024 French Open. GETTY
Novak Djokovic greets Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the 2024 French Open. GETTY

In the same presser at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic showered praise on his opponent Pierre-Hugues Herbert. He said:

"He could have done better, especially in my return games, but I have to congratulate him because he noticed every time I took a step back to the return, going towards the net."

The 24-time Grand Slam champion spoke highly of Herbert's serving.

"His kick serve is tremendous. Really, it's one of the best kicks I've ever faced. He's got a lot of talent, a lot of variety: he can get you on the net and he's quite skilled," he added.

The Serb's next challenge is Roberto Carballes Baena, against whom, he has a 2-0 head-to-head lead. The winner of the match will face either 30th seed Lorenzo Musetti or Gael Monfils in the third round of the French Open.

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