Djokovic endures cold day in Geneva to edge closer to ending 2024 barren run

The Serbi reached the Geneva Open semi-final where he will face Czech Tomas Machac

By Reuters

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Serbia's Novak Djokovic rin action at the Geneva Open tennis tournament. - AFP
Serbia's Novak Djokovic rin action at the Geneva Open tennis tournament. - AFP

Published: Fri 24 May 2024, 2:34 PM

Novak Djokovic took a step closer to ending his title drought in 2024 after beating Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 7-5 6-1 on Thursday to reach the Geneva Open semi-finals.

The world number one, who accepted a late wildcard to compete at the ATP 250 tournament ahead of defending his French Open title, got himself out of a hole as he saved four set points from 0-40 down in the 10th game before breaking his opponent for a 6-5 lead. He then served out the first set.

The 37-year-old Serb kept the momentum going as he broke serve three times in the second set, lasting just 25 minutes, to prevail over the world number 27.

"Great win. I thought that the first set could have gone his way easily because I think he was the better player for most of the first set," said Djokovic, who has been stuck on 98 singles titles since triumphing at last year's ATP Finals.

"He had three set points. I was facing 0-40 at 5-4 for him, so we could have been having a completely different direction of the match if he converted those set points.

"I was lucky to find some really good serves and from that moment onwards really played some good solid tennis. The second set was really good. I want to thank everybody for the support on this cold day."

The 24-time Grand Slam winner will face Czech Tomas Machac in Friday's semi-finals.

It was a bridge too far for Griekspoor, who earlier Thursday finished off his second-round match with Denis Shapovalov, beating the Canadian 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

Djokovic, who turned 37 on Wednesday, took a wild card to play in Geneva in a bid to rescue an alarming dip in form ahead of Roland-Garros next week.

Djokovic will face Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic in Friday's semi-finals. The pair have only met once before, with Djokovic winning their contest in Dubai last year.

Machac, the world number 44, will be appearing in his first semi-final on the ATP tour.

He saw off 19-year-old Alex Michelsen of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) in their quarter-final on the Geneva clay.

Friday's second semi-final will see Norwegian second seed Casper Ruud face Italy's in-form Flavio Cobolli.


Ruud, the world number seven, was the runner-up in the last two French Open finals, including a defeat to Djokovic last year.

Ruud, at home on the Geneva clay having won the title in 2021 and 2022, beat Argentinian fifth seed Sebastian Baez in a roller-coaster match, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in a two-hour quarter-final on Thursday.

"It was a tough match against Sebastian. He's a great player, a great fighter and it was always going to be difficult against him," Ruud said.

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