A 0: 6 in front of their own audience: The form of defending champion Novak Djokovic raises questions shortly before the French Open.
The “Bagel” didn’t taste Novak Djokovic at all. He “assumed the gasoline,” said number one of the world of tennis after 2: 6, 7: 6, 0: 6 against the Russian Andrej Rublew – In the final of the home tournament in Belgrade, the unpopular zero was in the end. A month before the French Open, the form of the defending champion raises more questions than answers.
Paris is “the big goal,” said Djokovic on the pitch, “I will hopefully be ready by then”. In any case, the Serb has not yet made this clear, his third appearance since his inglorious deportation from Melbourne in front of the Australian Open. On the way in the final, Djokovic also had a lot of trouble against Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Chatschatshanow and needed three sets each.
In the final against Rublew, at least number eight in the world, the forces were then missing. Djokovic would have liked to have spared the last sentence: The 34-year-old received a 0: 6 for the twelfth time in his long career. The last time he passed in the French Open final against Rafael Nadal in 2020, before 2019 in Rome-also against Nadal, also in the final.
Djokovic: “It is slowly going uphill”
There was no reason to worry, but it was also not the euphoria. “It is slowly going uphill. That gives me courage,” the winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments told the 8000 spectators who had previously cheered him on loudly.
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The fans also celebrated Rublew, who had previously criticized the exclusion of Russian players from the season highlight in the Wimbledon, like Djokovic. After the match ball, both players hugged intimately and wished the Orthodox Christians a happy Easter. Novak Djokovic had long since digested the “Bagel”.