• Home
  • Tennis
  • "Embarrassed" Novak Djokovic Setting The Bar Low Ahead Of French Open Title Defence

"Embarrassed" Novak Djokovic setting the bar low ahead of French Open title defence

He may be the defending champion at the French Open, but Novak Djokovic is the first to admit that he's woefully out of form.

The world number one, 24-time grand slam winner and defending champion has endured a turbulent build-up to Roland Garros.

He has yet to win a title all season, or even reach a final, and suffered recent defeats to Alejandro Tabilo — after being hit on the head by a spectator's water bottle — and Tomas Machac.

But the 37-year-old Serbian insisted he did not want to open "Pandora's Box" when it came to discussing his inconsistent form.

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

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

"Anything but a title for me is not satisfactory, it always has 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."

Nevertheless, Djokovic has found a way to win grand slam titles when the odds looked stacked against him before 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 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.

"Of course, it does affect me, the five months that I had so far in the year that haven't been great in terms of my tennis.

"That's why I have a kind of an approach that is focused on a daily basis more trying to build the form and momentum so that I can have a better chance to reach further in the tournament."

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

More Articles