Djokovic still without a title heading to French Open defense

AP
ZERO. Novak Djokovic will be heading to the French Open without having won a single title in 2024. / AP

GENEVA — Novak Djokovic will defend his French Open title in Paris still without a trophy this season after losing in the Geneva Open semifinals on Friday.

The 44th-ranked Tomas Machac beat Djokovic 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in the last clay-court event to prepare for Roland Garros, where main draw play starts on Sunday.

“Of course I am worried. I haven’t been playing good at all this year,” Djokovic said.

His record in 2024 dropped to 14-6 overall and 0-3 in semifinals, including at the Australian Open against Jannik Sinner.

“I don’t consider myself a favorite there,” the top-ranked Serb said of his chances at Roland Garros, where he’s won two of the past three titles and three overall among his men’s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles. “I’m going to take it match by match and see how far I can go.”

Machac took his first match-point chance which came on Djokovic’s serve, and clinched when Djokovic pushed a backhand long.

It was the fifth time Djokovic had his service broken and he also made 27 unforced errors.

“If you play against Novak you just hope and try to play your best and see how it looks,” Machac said in an on-court interview.

Djokovic warmly greeted the Czech at the net, and smiled as he walked off court, applauding the fans.

Djokovic took a medical timeout after the first set for a stomach issue.

“It was a terrible feeling with stomach and health today. It was not a great night and today as well,” he said. “I don’t want to take anything away from his win; he deserved it.”

Machac will play his first tour final on Saturday against two-time Geneva champion Casper Ruud, the French Open runner-up for the past two years, or the unseeded Flavio Cobolli. Their semifinal did not start on time because of a lengthy rain delay. / AP

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