Novak Djokovic: Former world No 2 has ‘no doubt’ about tennis great in French Open verdict

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic after a win at the Italian Open
Novak Djokovic after a win at the Italian Open

Alex Corretja declared he has “no doubt” Novak Djokovic is “going to be good” at the 2024 French Open as he discussed the great Serbian’s form.

The two-time Roland Garros finalist feels Djokovic is “saving energy” for a packed summer schedule featuring the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.

Djokovic took a wildcard to play the Geneva Open ATP 250 tournament this week ahead of the French Open, which will begin on Sunday.

The world No 1, who is celebrating his 37th birthday today, will face Yannick Hanfmann in his opening match at the clay-court event.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion has had a disappointing 2024 season to date by standards and has played only six matches on clay this year.

Djokovic, who has not reached a final in 2024, reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters and the third round of the Italian Open in his two previous clay events. He will be seeking a fourth crown at Roland Garros, where he is the defending champion.

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Corretja, a former world No 2, gave his assessment of Djokovic’s prospects heading into the year’s second Grand Slam.

“It seems to me that Novak is saving energy for the summer time for Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Olympics, the US Open,” the Spaniard told Eurosport.

“I think he knows that it’s going to be a very busy time and he’s been just hanging in there, observing his body, you know, his mind.

“Definitely he needs a good first week to get in shape again, to get some rhythm, to get some feeling with the ball and to spend a little bit of time to suffer one of those matches where maybe he doesn’t feel great, but he needs to get through and get that confidence back.

“I’m counting on Novak. Of course he knows how to deal in the Slams. He’s the defending champion. He loves to play there on that Philippe Chatrier. So, I’m not worried about his form.

“I’m more just interested to see how he’s going to deal with the whole situation once he doesn’t feel as great as he wished, but I have no doubt that he’s going to be good.”

The 17-time ATP titlist believes a solid run in Geneva will give Djokovic what he needs to challenge at Roland Garros.

“If he’s able to play like two or three matches, he will get to Roland Garros in a good shape, and definitely with his confidence back,” Corretja continued.

“I think it’s a matter of also feeling the ball and the moments where you need to save break points, where you need to serve for the match, where you need to know where you are going to serve, where you’re going to stand at the return.

“This is what maybe Novak is missing a little bit on clay, but as the tournament will go on as the matches he will play for sure, he’s going to be ready.”

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