Novak Djokovic makes shocking confession ahead of his run at the French Open

Djokovic is set to open his 2024 French Open campaign on Tuesday but is he focused enough to make a run at the event?
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Rafael Nadal has won an untouchable 14 French Open titles. He is the best player ever on Paris clay (though one might argue that Bjorn Borg might give him a good match if both were in their prime). What might be easier to forget is that Novak Djokovic is arguably the most well-rounded player ever who has won two of the last three tournaments at Roland Garros.

Just as much as Nadal cannot be counted out of winning the French Open, even in his current form, neither can Djokovic. The last time the Serb failed to reach at least the quarterfinals in Paris was in 2009. He has reached at least the semifinals 12 times and won Roland Garros three times.

The reason that is pointed out is that even though Djokovic, who currently remains the ATP No. 1, though that could change immediately following the French Open, has not yet made a final at any event in 2024, one cannot count him out of winning the French Open. No one prepares for Grand Slams better than the Serb and this is one reason he has a record 24 major titles.

Novak Djokovic is struggling with his current focus during matches

But after failing to make the final of the Geneva Open last week, Djokovic made a startling confession. His loss to Tomas Machac wasn't terrifically shocking. The 23-year-old Machac is a top-50 player who had played Djokovic close before. He wasn't as afraid of the Serb as many young players might be.

Djokovic also gave Machac credit for the victory in his post-match press conference. This has always been one of the more underrated parts of Djokovic and tennis. Some players, such as Holger Rune, seem to want to say they were the reason they lost a match instead of their opponent simply being better on a certain day. Djokovic has almost always praised his opponent after a loss.

After his loss to Machac in Geneva, the Serb gave credit to Machac but also said something quite alarming. In his press conference, Djokovic said, "I haven’t played well at all this year, apart from a few matches here and there. Things are what they are. I don’t see myself as a favorite in Paris...It’s not nice to suffer like that on the court. It’s hard to concentrate on tennis when you have other things on your mind. I just hope to be ready and in good health for Roland Garros."

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That last part is most interesting. Is something happening off the court for Djokovic that is affecting his play? Or is he suffering from an injury that tennis fans don't know about?

The hope, of course, is that Novak Djokovic, who could be close to the end of his career, is able to make another deep run at the French Open. He is good for tennis and brings in viewers who might not otherwise watch. Still, the sport is going to need to prepare for life after Djokovic soon.

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