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Novak Djokovic hoping to hit peak form for French Open, Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open stretch this summer

Twenty-four time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is yet to win a tour title in 2024, the 36-year-old having featured in only three tournaments so far this year; watch Djokovic face Corentin Moutet at the Italian Open from 6pm Friday, live on Sky Sports Tennis

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Novak Djokovic discusses his priorities going into this year's tournaments and how he hopes to see a 'healthy' Rafa Nadal ahead of this summer's Grand Slams.

Novak Djokovic says he is yet to find his highest level as he prepares for his opening match of the Italian Open on Friday, live on Sky Sports.

The men's world No 1 has played in only three tournaments so far in 2024, losing in the semi-finals of both the opening Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, and on the clay at the Monte-Carlo Masters last month.

The Italian Open represents Djokovic's final tune-up ahead of his title defence at the French Open, where the 36-year-old is hoping "to arrive ready to fight for a title", with further Slam opportunities at Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as the Olympics, lying in wait this summer.

"I'm yet to find the highest level of tennis," Djokovic told Sky Sports.

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Novak Djokovic was dumped out of the Monte-Carlo Masters after a rather uncharacteristic mistake.

"Obviously the block of Roland-Garros, Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open is the most important of the year for me. That's the priority and what I'm setting my form for.

"Hopefully I can find that desired level of tennis this week; Roland-Garros is definitely where I want to arrive ready to fight for a title."

Since the Australian Open in January, Djokovic has played only six matches in the subsequent three and a half months, which included suffering a shock third-round exit to qualifying lucky loser Luca Nardi at Indian Wells in March.

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Watch the moment lucky loser Luca Nardi beat his idol Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells.

The Serb isn't worried about the possibility of being undercooked, however, going into his opening match against Corentin Moutet in Rome - live on Sky Sports Tennis from 6pm, Friday.

"It maybe takes a little bit more time to find that desired level because you're lacking that competitive match play," he added.

"But it's a conscious decision I'm making [to play less]. I'm almost 37 and I want to spend more time with the family, and I want to pick and choose a little bit more from this season onwards - where I want to play, where I enjoy playing and where it suits my schedule so I can set my form for the biggest tournaments in the sport."

'Djokovic thrives on challenge of emerging Alcaraz and Sinner'

Despite his lack of playing time in recent months, Djokovic has a great opportunity to secure his first title of 2024 in Rome, with Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner both missing the tournament through injury.

The pair are the leading young talents to emerge in the men's game, with Alcaraz beating Djokovic in last year's Wimbledon final to claim his second slam and Sinner winning his first in Australia earlier this year, having knocked out Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Jannik Sinner of Italy holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup aloft after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Image: Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on his way to claiming his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open

"He must be feeling the pressure a little bit more than at other times, in terms of Alcaraz and Sinner," Annabel Croft said.

"It's interesting to think where his confidence is really at because we know those have definitely arrived and are challenging big time for the big prizes.

"In fact, I thought it was incredible how after losing to Alcaraz at Wimbledon in that epic five-set thriller that Djokovic was able to come back to win with a flourish the rest of the year - especially at the ATP Finals.

"He sounds very calm about what is happening this year. No, he hasn't had any big wins on the tour but he sounds at ease with that.

"And maybe he is the favourite here [in Rome], especially given a couple of niggling injuries to Sinner, Alcaraz and some others.

"You just can't argue with the credibility he brings out onto the court every time he's out there. He knows how to do it, how to peak at the right times and bring his level when he really needs it."

Former British men's No 1 Tim Henman told Sky Sports: "Djokovic thrives on that confrontation, and Alcaraz has two slams, Sinner one and he's got 24!

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Highlights of Rafael Nadal against Zizou Bergs from the first round of the Italian Open in Rome.

"He was chasing [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal for so long… that's when the pressure was at its most intense, because he was desperate to be the greatest male player of all time. Now he has got ahead of them, I think he's playing with enormous freedom.

"He knows that form is temporary and class is permanent."

What's coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

In the run-up to the second Grand Slam of 2024 - the French Open at Roland Garros from May 26 - you can watch all of the biggest tennis stars in action live on Sky Sports as they compete across the clay-court season.

  • Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome (ATP and WTA Masters 1000) - May 7-19
  • Geneva Open (ATP 250) - May 20-26
  • Lyon Open (ATP 250) - May 20-26
  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500), with Emma Raducanu in action - May 20-26
  • Morocco Open (WTA 250) - May 20-26

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else in 2024, including on its dedicated tennis channel, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, plus full coverage of the US Open exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches contract-free with a NOW Sports Day or Month Membership.

Fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports App and as well as via Sky Sports' social channels.

Watch the WTA and ATP Tours throughout 2024 on Sky Sports Tennis. Stream Sky Sports Tennis and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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