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Novak Djokovic Accepts Wild Card Into Geneva Open

Novak Djokovic in action at the ATP Rome Open.

Novak Djokovic has endured his most difficult start to a season in several years. He is yet to reach a final at any event and his level is far below what the tennis world has become accustomed to when watching the 23-time Major champion. Fans were also shocked when he and long-term coach Goran Ivanisevic parted ways in March.

Those factors mean Djokovic trying something different to try and breathe life into his season is not a surprise. However, no one in the tennis world expected him to play the week before the French Open, which he has elected to do.

Novak Djokovic Accepts Wild Card Into Geneva Open

Djokovic’s latest setback was a defeat in straight sets to Alejandro Tabilo in the Round of 32 at the Italian Open. This has led to Djokovic taking drastic action by taking a wild card into the ATP 250 event in Geneva, which starts on Monday. He joins his former Grand Slam rival Andy Murray at the tournament, who also accepted a wild card.

This is an unprecedented moment in Djokovic’s career. He has never previously played an ATP event the week before the French Open begins. Even at the start of his career the three-time Roland-Garros winner never elected to do that, which shows just how surprising this move is. In fact, Djokovic has increasingly taken the opposite approach when preparing for Grand Slams. An example of this is the Serbian not playing any warmup events for Wimbledon since 2018 at the Queen’s Club Championships.

The last time Djokovic played the week before any Grand Slam was in Eastbourne in 2017 the week before Wimbledon, a tournament he won by defeating Gael Monfils in the final. 2017 was also a year where Djokovic struggled, showing there is some precedent for the World No. 1 choosing to play more matches when he is lacking form.

It will be very interesting to observe whether this decision from Djokovic is one that ends up helping him when he defends his title at the French Open.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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