Could Novak Djokovic make shock return to lower level with Geneva Open wildcard mooted

Friday, 17 May 2024 at 10:52
Novak Djokovic could potentially participate in the ATP 250 Geneva Open for the first time ahead of Roland Garros. While there is no official confirmation yet from the player or the tournament, the rumor has gained strength in recent hours as the tournament still awaits confirmation on the wild cards it will offer.
Thierry Grin, the tournament director, commented that they are in contact with all the top players. The first invitation was extended to the 3-times Grand Slam champion Andy Murray. The tournament will take place between May 19th and 25th, 2024, and will have Norwegian Casper Ruud, the 2023 French Open finalist, as the main favorite.

Geneva Open dreams of having Djokovic

With less than two weeks until the start of the French Open main draw, Djokovic will arrive at the tournament with a delicate present. Nole will head to Roland Garros without any titles in the year, something that hasn't happened since 2006, and with a 12-5 record for the year.
He recently suffered a surprising exit in the Round of 32 of the Rome Open against Chilean Alejandro Tabilo. The Serbian added another painful defeat, raising doubts about his level, especially considering he must defend the title at the French Open and has Jannik Sinner increasingly closer in the battle for the world No. 1.
Meanwhile, Geneva Open director Thierry Grin did not rule out the possibility of the Serbian finally being in the main draw in order to gain match practice before the second Grand Slam of the year: "We are in contact with all the players in the Top 50," confirms Thierry Grin. "We cannot make further comments at this stage," he adds.
The director was asked about the economic cost that would entail for the tournament, and Grin commented that it would not be a particularly relevant impediment in this case: "This is confidential information, but you should know that in this type of case, the financial aspect is not a priority for the players," underlines Thierry Grin. "They don’t come for the money but for the desire to play matches."
It would be a shock realistically to see Djokovic play at this level. The Serbian only plays often when tournaments have something to do with him e.g Belgrade. But it could be a needs must for him. He is without a lot of match practice and doubts are swelling. Also in reality, he will be 100% again despite dispelling doubts about the bottle incident in Rome. Time will tell if it happens or not.
But it would certainly be a coup for the tournament if they got Djokovic or anyone of similar level to play the week before the French Open. With Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner both injured, Djokovic like others will sense opportunity. He is after a 25th Grand Slam crown and will set his attention to the triple header in Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games followed by the US Open. The time to start peaking is now.

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