What Happened Last Time Djokovic Played ATP 250s Week Before Grand Slam

What Happened Last Time Djokovic Played ATP 250s Week Before Grand Slam

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic will play at the 2024 Geneva Open, which is quite unusual because the tournament is scheduled a week before Roland Garros.

Djokovic has not explained why he decided to accept a wild card into the last ATP 250 before going to Paris, but there are obvious reasons why that is the case.

He has played the fewest clay-court matches before the Parisian Slam since 2006. With 12 wins all season and no titles to show for his efforts, there is a hint of vulnerability.

Recently, tennis analysts have expressed concern with Andy Roddick, suggesting that for the first time in 15 years, he is becoming restless, calling for Djokovic's turnaround, which hasn't happened so far this season.

So how does the Serbian's record of playing an ATP 250 tournament a week before a Grand Slam stack up?

2021: Won Belgrade and Roland Garros

The most recent occurrence was just three years ago when Djokovic signed up to play the Belgrade Open in his home country. He won the tournament by beating Alex Molcan in the final. Two weeks later, Djokovic recovered from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Roland Garros final.

2017: Won Eastbourne but retired at Wimbledon

In 2017, Djokovic had a difficult season. He had not played his best tennis because of an elbow injury. He lost in straight sets to Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open and Dominic Thiem in the French Open quarterfinal.

After the two unsuccessful title defenses, Djokovic chose to play in Eastbourne just before Wimbledon, and he won the tournament. But then, the elbow pain became unbearable, and he retired during his quarterfinal match against Tomas Berdych at SW19 and never returned for the remainder of the season.

2009: Lost Sydney semifinal and retired at Australian Open

Djokovic played a week before a Slam for the first time in 2009, just before he became the stalwart he is today. He started the year in Brisbane, where he suffered a shock first-round defeat to Ernests Gulbis.

Feeling unprepared for his title defense at the Australian Open, Djokovic entered the next ATP event in Sydney. There, he advanced to the semifinals only to lose to Jarkko Nieminen. A fortnight later, Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match in Melbourne against Andy Roddick due to heat stress.


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