Tennis News: Novak Djokovic, John McEnroe and Andrey Rublev

  • Defeating Djokovic was considered patriotic
  • McEnroe has some advice for Rublev
Novak Djokovic at the French Open
Novak Djokovic at the French Open / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

Novak Djokovic has been atop the ATP rankings for more weeks than any other player ever, and the difference between Djokovic and the rest of the field is great. 2024, though, has not been Djokovic's best year so far. He might have already lost his current No. 1 ranking already had Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz been consistently healthy, but they haven't.

Djokovic is unlikely to keep his top ranking once the new rankings come out on June 10. He would have to win the French Open to try to keep his spot, and he simply has not played well enough overall this year for one to assume that would happen. Sinner is likely to take over the No. 1 spot as he only made the second round of the French Open last year, while Djokovic won the event.

On Saturday, Djokovic played Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the third round at Roland Garros. Musetti had beaten the Serb once out of five meetings. Most importantly, he should have entered the match with a bit of confidence as Musetti beat Djokovic on clay at the 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters. Musetti had other motivating factors while playing Djokovic as well.

Lorenzo Musetti wanted to defeat Novak Djokovic to help his country and John McEnroe has some advice for Andrey Rublev

Musetti told the meeting before facing Djokovic, "Against Djokovic, I will also try to help Sinner for No. 1. I wish (Sinner) not to place his hopes on me. He has his own path. I think it is already well-written, but if I can give him a hand, even a little. Patriotism doesn't hurt." Classic.

What isn't classical good is how Andrey Rublev is having issues controlling his temper. He has always struggled to control his emotions, but over the last six months, things have digressed. He was defaulted in a tournament earlier this year after he was wrongfully accused of saying a slur to a line judge. That might have had more to do with Rublev's reputation for losing his cool and officials believing he is capable of getting so angry he says something wrong.

Rublev had several emotional breakdowns during his third-round loss at the French Open. This began early in the match and likely affected his form. He shockingly lost in straight sets.

The Russian admitted to the media after his loss that his temper sometimes defeats him as much as his opponent. Rublev said, "Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed, and I don’t remember behaving worse at a Grand Slam ever...The problem is (in my) head, which basically killed me today, and that’s it."

Next. Rafael Nadal discusses being watch at the French Open. Rafael Nadal discusses being watch at the French Open. dark

Former No. 1 John McEnroe had issues controlling his temper when he played, but he did not consistently experience the negative effects of outbursts that Rublev does. The American addressed Rublev's behavioral problem after the third-round loss and had an interesting idea for the Russian.

McEnroe told Eurosport, "Take it from someone who knows about going crazy: if you’re going to go crazy, you’ve got to know when you’ve got to pull back so you can keep your focus and concentration and play well...I’ve seen Rublev go crazy before. This isn’t the first time. He’s a guy that wears his emotions on his sleeve. My agent, Gary Swain, when Andrey was 15 or 16 (years old), told me, ‘You got to coach the guy!’ In some ways, I think he was right. We were cut out for each other."

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