Djokovic begins his title defense tense and without conviction

Djokovic begins his title defense tense and without conviction

“I have low expectations and high hopes at Roland Garros,” highlighted Novak Djokovic upon his arrival at Roland Garros. Since the season started he hasn’t won. no title in five months. “Bumps in the road,” he explained in his first press conference in Paris, after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Geneva tournament where he went in search of filming. This Tuesday the world number 1 has shown those doubts that have haunted him in recent times.

Djokovic He was tense to resolve his match against the Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert whom he won in three sets by 6-4, 7-6 (3) and 6-4, but without the conviction of the one who defends last year’s title and the current number 1. It was difficult for him to impose the rhythm against the French tennis player supported by his audience at the Philippe Chatrier. The Serbian tennis player went to his box complaining about his game. In Paris he is as a coach Nenad Zimonjic, which temporarily replaced Goran Ivanisevic.

Djokovic was uneasy during the 2 hours and 31 minutes that the match lasted. He suffered on the court to get rid of a rival who was playing with an invitation, ranked 142 in the world, who closed the match with a double fault.

Verdasco with Davidovich

Among the Spaniards who debuted this Tuesday, Alexander Davidovich (32nd in the world) surpassed the first round against the Monegasque Valentin Vacherot (116) by 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and 7-6 (2). The Malaga tennis player introduced Fernando Verdasco as his new coach, replacing Jorge Aguilarwith whom he had been since he started as a child in Malaga.

“It was time to close a stage. Fernando is a friend and although he has not yet retired, his experience as a player will help me,” he explained without wanting to delve into the change. The Norwegian Casper Ruud, double finalist at Roland Garros (2022 and 2023), will be his next rival. He also qualified for the second round Roberto Carballés (63), who beat the French Constantin Lestienne (91) by 6-3, 7-5, 4-6 and 6-2.

15 month nightmare

After 15 months without being able to play a game, Pablo Carreno, reappeared this Tuesday at Roland Garros, thanks to the ranking protected by injury. Winner of the Canadian Masters 1000 (2022) and twice quarterfinalist at Roland Garros 2017 and 2020, he noticed the lack of shooting against the Argentine Mariano Navone 23 years old, finalist in Rio de Janeiro and the first seeded tennis player in the tournament (31) in his first participation.

Carreno He started by winning the first set but faded under the fine rain that fell throughout the match until he lost the match 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 and 6-0. The Asturian tennis player returned to play after an ordeal that began with tendonitis in November 2022, in the Davis Cup, and that ended in an operation last October.

Carreño, 32, suffered a humerus injury, a muscle tear in his forearm, like the one he suffers Carlos Alcaraz, in addition to elbow problems that he had had before, until deciding to have surgery last October. “I thought this was over. It was very long and very hard,” he explained a few weeks ago. That’s why this Tuesday he seemed happy despite the defeat. “Although it is strange, the main thing was to finish without pain,” said Carreño, whose goal is to compete in the Olympic Games, after winning the bronze medal in the last one in Tokyo, in 2021.

He couldn’t even get past the first round. Roberto Bautistafar from his best form (86th world), who fell in the Spanish derby against James Munar (world 64) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-1.

Alcaraz, in the center

Who will not be affected by the weather, for now, if this Wednesday the rain does not continue to complicate the tournament schedule, it will be Carlos Alcaraz who will play his second round, protected if necessary under the roof in the second turn of the center Philippe Chatrier (around 2:00 p.m., Eurosport) against the Dutchman Jesper DeJong (116).

It does not seem that Alcaraz is going to have many problems against a player who comes from the previous phase and who at 23 years old has only played six matches on the ATP circuit, with only two victories, one this year at the Australian Open against the Argentine Pedro Cachín and the second at Roland Garros in five sets against the British left-hander Jack Draper (39th world).

2024-05-28 21:43:55
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