World’s No.1 Novak Djokovic’s decision in Geneva “shocked” former top-ranked player

Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick has admitted he is “shocked” Novak Djokovic has decided to play at the French Open in Geneva a week before the 2024 French Open.

The US Open champion from 2003 believes that Djokovic made the “right move”, because he believes that the Serbian giant needs match practice at Roland Garros.

Djokovic will make his ATP 250 debut in Geneva this week ahead of the 2024 French Open which starts on Sunday. The 24-time Major winner will face either Iannick Hanfmann or Andi Murray in his opening match.

The world No. 1 has yet to reach the final this year and holds a 12-5 record in the challenging 2024 season to date. Djokovic fell to Alejandro Tabilo 2-6, 3-6 in just one hour and seven minutes in the third round of the Italian Open.

The 36-year-old, who opted to skip the Madrid Open, has played just six matches during his clay-court campaign so far in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Djokovic last played the tournament a week before the 2021 French Open and it proved to be a fruitful decision. The Serbian won the Belgrade Open ATP 250 before claiming the second of his three Roland Garros crowns.

On the Tennis Channel Live podcast, Roddick expressed his surprise at Djokovic’s decision to play in Geneva, but supported the move.

“I like the move and I’m also shocked by it,” Roddick said. “You know, it’s strange because he was so confident going into the biggest tournaments in the world without much preparation, right?

“It’s become a habit for him and he’s been successful at it for the last three or four years. So it definitely proves the point that we’ve been winning at home all week that if something’s different, you need matches — even the best of all time.

“Sometimes you need a few reps and a few real reps, right? You can feel great in practice, you can’t imitate it. So I think it’s the right move. And hey, I’m sure the Geneva Open is pretty excited about us getting it for free.”

The American then expressed his thoughts on the strength of the draw in Geneva, which also includes Casper Rudd, Taylor Fritz and Ben Shelton.

“It’s interesting, Kasper is a little more understandable because he didn’t play great in Madrid or Rome, he had some early defeats,” he said.

“Taylor Fritz is like allergic to vacation. It’s like he’s allergic to vacation weeks. I don’t fully understand, but I also don’t know Taylor. Obviously he likes to play, for representatives to enter the match…

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“Usually in these 250s a week before a Slam, you don’t get top shelf like this, you don’t get the top four seeds all in the top 12 or 13 in the world.

“This is a good performance for Geneva. I was surprised by Novak, I’m surprised that Taylor will continue to go. Less surprised by Ruud and Shelton.”

During a recent episode of the Served vith Andi Roddick podcast, Rodick weighed in on Djokovic’s struggles in 2024 following his loss to Tabil.

Novak Djokovic's Geneva Open decision leaves former world No 1 'shocked'

“I’m more concerned about his tennis game than I’ve been in probably 15 years,” said the 32-time ATP champion.

“Knowing that, maybe he just needs a bunch of us to say that, you know, that kind of ‘me against the world’ mentality that he’s mastered over the course of his career. But how long can we say, “He will turn it around”? I’ve been saying that all year.

“This one was weird, I thought it was going to increase. You watch the French Open, Wimbledon, he said his priority was the Olympics, you felt like there was an increase. It was not an increase.”

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