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Novak Djokovic enjoys milestone win in Geneva before French Open defence | Tennis



Novak Djokovic enjoys milestone win in Geneva before French Open defence | Tennis

Novak Djokovic returned to the court docket after his troublesome expertise in Rome with a milestone 6-3, 6-3 win towards Yannick Hanfmann to succeed in the quarter-finals of the Geneva Open as he appears to be like to achieve important match follow earlier than his French Open title defence.

The victory marks Djokovic’s 1,one hundredth profession win on the ATP tour, an achievement he attained on his thirty seventh birthday. Djokovic is the third participant in historical past to succeed in 1,100 ATP wins, behind solely Jimmy Connors (1,274) and Roger Federer (1,251).

Having produced the most effective seasons of his profession in 2023, successful three of the 4 main titles, this 12 months has been troublesome for the world No 1. He’s nonetheless trying to find his first title of 2024 and his hopes of getting ready effectively in Rome for the French Open had been thwarted by a straight-sets defeat towards Alejandro Tabilo within the third spherical of the Italian Open.

Two days earlier than that defeat Djokovic had been signing autographs after his first win when a metallic bottle fell from a fan’s backpack within the crowd and struck him on the pinnacle. Djokovic stated he had skilled nausea, dizziness and his head bled that evening. Whereas the signs appeared to abate the subsequent day, Djokovic stated he felt like a “fully totally different” participant on court docket throughout his defeat towards Tabilo and he would endure medical examinations.

Djokovic additionally skipped the Madrid Open earlier than Rome, that means he would have been extraordinarily low on matches going into Roland Garros, the place he’s the defending champion. He opted to take a wildcard into Geneva. “I really feel like I want extra matches, even when it’s one match, two matches, three, 4 hopefully,” he stated. “It’s good for me, as a result of that’s the way in which for me to attempt to discover that form of type that I want for Roland Garros.”

Novak Djokovic launches a return towards Yannick Hanfmann. {Photograph}: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Regardless of some difficulties, Djokovic definitely seemed like himself as he managed the match till the top. After closing out the primary set in a dramatic, prolonged last recreation that was damaged up by a rain delay, Djokovic trailed 0-3 within the second set earlier than reeling off six video games in a row to shut out the match. After the match, the Swiss crowd sang Blissful Birthday to the highest seed earlier than he obtained a big cake. He’ll face both Denis Shapovalov or Tallon Griekspoor within the quarter-finals.

In the meantime Dominic Thiem’s profession at Roland Garros got here to an finish as he was defeated 6-2, 7-5 by Otto Virtanen within the second qualifying spherical. After the match, which was performed out to a packed crowd on Court docket Suzanne-Lenglen, the 30-year-old gave a farewell speech and obtained a commemorative trophy from Amélie Mauresmo, the event director.

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The French Tennis Federation has obtained criticism in latest days for not granting Thiem, a two-time French Open finalist, a wildcard into the primary draw. The event opted to order its singles wildcards for French gamers together with its reciprocal offers with the Australian and US Opens.

Within the males’s doubles event, nonetheless, the FFT broke with custom by granting Andy Murray and Dan Evans a main-draw wildcard in doubles. Murray will use the chance as doubles follow for the Olympic Video games, the place he hopes to play with Joe Salisbury.

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