PREVIEW: 2024 Geneva Open shapes up as crucial test for top tennis talents Djokovic, Ruud, and Fritz

Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 20:30
The 2024 Geneva Open will take place between the 19-25 May and is the final ATP tournament before Roland Garros takes place in Paris and for many, it is one final opportunity to get some much-needed match practice in and is the subject of this preview.
Novak Djokovic in particular has taken this route this time around with a super late wildcard into the tournament to lead the field. The World No.1 usually doesn't play many warm-ups no mind ATP 250's. But needs must for the 24-time Grand Slam champion after recent form woes. As well as getting the all-clear after the supposed bottlegate.
Returning to Rome last week, he was left let down by the fact that he didn't get much in the way of matches in. He lost out to Alejandro Tabilo who went on to reach the semi-finals. But it was also amidst an undercurrent of bottle gate. This divided fan opinion as to whether it was an accident.

Needs must for Djokovic, Ruud and Fritz nearest rivals

Djokovic jovially wore a bike helmet after the incident, but admitted he didn't feel himself after being dumped out of the tournament by the Chilean. But since then, he has received the all clear from doctors and will seemingly attempt to accrue matches on the next week to make himself feel better ahead of Roland Garros.
It has been a season of change for the great Serbian who has ditched coach Goran Ivanisevic and suffered a multitude of shock losses including to Tabilo and also to Luca Nardi. But in reality, the mystery still remains. Djokovic in particular hasn't played a lot of tennis this year in comparison to his rivals. That is both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing being that unlike his rivals, he is not injured going into Roland Garros and very much as ever completes his own schedule. But also in this case, it is also a curse as he now has to go into an unknown of an ATP 250 which also features big names in order to get late practice. He will either go into Roland Garros undercooked or even overcooked depending on how far he goes. But in reality, it is a risk he needs to take. In addition, he could face Andy Murray for the 37th time to start. He is taking on Yannick Hanfmann on Monday with the winner facing Djokovic.
No doubt if it is Murray, it might reflect a simpler task for Djokovic than Hanfmann perhaps. But it might be that the Brit turns on some of his old magic. That will be the hope as they could meet for the final time on court.
Losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2023 Roland Garros final, Casper Ruud got his own back in Monte-Carlo and heads into Roland Garros and also Geneva as the 24-time Grand Slam champion's potential rival.

Ruud main rival as Jarry out due to Rome exploits

His main rival though this week for the title is a certain Casper Ruud. A specialist especially in these ATP 250 tournaments on European Clay, it is often a match made in heaven. Also it slightly held him back. The Norwegian has only just won an ATP 500 tournament in Barcelona for the first time despite his status in the game.
But his belief likely stemmed from beating Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. He could face Rinky Hijikata in the second round. Sebastian Baez likely awaits as his first real opponent of the week. He cannot meet Djokovic until the final and with Taylor Fritz lurking, it might be a good week for the former.
He holds a terrific record over the American and will be the seed he wants to see on his side. Jack Draper, Tallon Griekspoor are among those who also could be latter stage opponents if Fritz falls by the wayside. While for Ruud, it could be Ben Shelton or Fabian Marozsan.
Ruud will look to stamp his authority this week especially given that rumours of a back injury have floated. He lost to Miomir Kecmanovic after his latest brilliance. It would also be a real shock to see him not perform in this period. He has reached the final of the last two Roland Garros.
It also could be a trio in Djokovic, Ruud and Fritz that will be up there in French Open reckoning. With Alcaraz and Sinner injured and doubts on others, the contender pool keeps widening. So in reality, it is a pivotal tournament for a few in Geneva ironically to find their way into the mix.
Ruud has also won Geneva twice so is perhaps favourite. Nicolas Jarry did win it last year, but he had to withdraw late and so will not appear this next week. He would've added perhaps further complications.
In terrific form in Rome, he will face Alexander Zverev as of time of writing in Sunday's final so is certainly a real miss. But in losing Jarry and a slew of other late withdrawals, Geneva thought on their feet in sending the feelers out to players. No doubt a week ago, they wouldn't have thought that Novak Djokovic was possible. But stranger things have happened.
A fairly new tournament, they have had Stan Wawrinka twice, Marton Fucsovics and Alexander Zverev among their winners before the real dominant streak of Ruud began and he started to take control. But it won't be Ruud that dominates the headlines this next week.
Albeit with Djokovic, how he gets on though like his season will continue to be a mystery as he faces a real great unknown for the first time in a long time. A tournament that perhaps never expected to welcome Djokovic will next week.
Results Men's Singles Finals Geneva Open
2015 Thomaz Bellucci d. João Sousa 7–6(7–4), 6–4
2016 Stan Wawrinka d. Marin Čilić 6–4, 7–6(13–11)
2017 Stan Wawrinka (2) d. Mischa Zverev 4–6, 6–3, 6–3
2018 Márton Fucsovics d. Peter Gojowczyk 6–2, 6–2
2019 Alexander Zverev d. Nicolás Jarry 6–3, 3–6, 7–6(10–8)
2020 Not held due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Casper Ruud d. Denis Shapovalov 7–6(8–6), 6–4
2022 Casper Ruud (2) d. João Sousa 7–6(7–3), 4–6, 7–6(7–1)
2023 Nicolás Jarry d. Grigor Dimitrov 7–6(7–1), 6–1

Just In

Popular News