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French Open 2024: Novak Djokovic 'embarrassed' by low expectations ahead of title defence at Roland-Garros

Novak Djokovic faces French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round in Roland-Garros on Tuesday; You can follow the action at the French Open with us on from May 26 through to the final on June 9

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after losing a point as he plays Tomas Machac, of the Czech Republic, during their semi-final match, at the ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, May 24, 2024. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
Image: Novak Djokovic has yet to win a title in 2024 or even make a final

Novak Djokovic says he feels "embarrassed" by how low his expectations are at this year's French Open.

The world No 1, a record 24-time Grand-Slam winner and defending champion in Paris, has endured a turbulent build-up to this year's tournament.

The 37-year-old has yet to win a title all season, or even reach a final, and has admitted ahead of his first-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Tuesday that he does not want to open "Pandora's Box" when it comes to discussing his inconsistent form.

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Novak Djokovic was defeated 4-6 6-0 1-6 by Tomas Machac in the semi-finals of the Geneva Open last week.

"Low expectations and high hopes," was Djokovic's response when asked how he was feeling going into Roland-Garros this year.

"It's tough to talk about. It's very subjective. I almost feel a bit embarrassed to say what my expectations are.

"Anything but a title for me is not satisfactory, it's always been like that. I know it might sound arrogant to a lot of people, but I think I have the career that backs it up.

"It's various things that were happening in the last couple of months, but I don't want to get into it. I hope you understand that. It's just I don't want to open Pandora's Box and talk about things."

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Novak Djokovic was struck on the head by a bottle whilst he was signing autographs at the Italian Open.

Nevertheless, Djokovic has found a way to win slams before when the odds have looked stacked against him, and he warned: "I know what I'm capable of.

"Particularly in the Grand Slams, I normally play the best tennis, at least I aim always to play the best tennis, and I was for most of my career able to do that, so that's the goal.

"I have been saying for quite a while that, in terms of clay, I want to peak here in Paris, in Roland-Garros.

"Last year I had an amazing year, particularly here in Roland-Garros, and hopefully I can have a great tournament."

Djokovic begins his bid for major title number 25 against French wild card Herbert on Tuesday.

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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 for this summer's Grand Slams.

How to follow the French Open on Sky Sports

You can follow the action at Roland Garros every day by heading to and the Sky Sports app.

As well as coverage from Paris, there will be analysis from our team of experts, draws, schedule and order of play.

What's coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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