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French Open 2024: Novak Djokovic's journey; form, expectations and fan behavior

Novak Djokovic advances at the French Open 2024 with a win over Roberto Carballes Baena, maintaining cautious optimism amidst fan behaviour concerns and legal issues faced by Alexander Zverev. The tournament also saw notable performances from Daniil Medvedev, Paula Badosa, and surprises like Jelena Ostapenko's defeat.

Tennis French Open 2024: Novak Djokovic's journey; form, expectations and fan behavior osf
First Published May 31, 2024, 11:32 AM IST

Novak Djokovic continued to assert cautious optimism after a commanding performance at the French Open on Thursday, advancing to the third round with a decisive 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Roberto Carballés Baena of Spain. Despite the encouraging win, Djokovic tempered expectations, acknowledging his recent form and the need to build momentum.

"I don’t want to get too much ahead of the present day, because I haven’t had really great form as a lead-up to Roland Garros," Djokovic said in a post-match interview. "So I have to keep my expectations a bit lower. Of course, hopes and beliefs and convictions are always there, always high, and I always aim for the highest star, so to say."

The World No. 1 remained focused on the task at hand, emphasizing the importance of daily improvements to peak at the right time during the tournament. "I’m being very conscious of the present moment and what needs to be done on a daily basis to build my form as the tournament progresses," Djokovic added.

In addition to his performance on the court, Djokovic also addressed recent issues regarding fan behavior at the French Open. He expressed solidarity with fellow players who have faced disrespectful behavior from spectators, highlighting the fine line between passionate support and disrespectful heckling.

"It’s a fine line when that line is passed and when it starts becoming disrespectful towards the player," Djokovic remarked. "In those instances, I understand that a player like Goffin the other day reacted, because I have experienced quite a few times those particular situations. So I support a player standing up against people who are disrespecting and heckling him."

Djokovic's comments came after Alexander Zverev's win over David Goffin, where Zverev continues to play amidst ongoing legal issues off-court. Zverev faces a public trial for allegedly abusing his ex-partner, Brenda Patea, with the trial beginning in Berlin. Despite the legal proceedings, Zverev remains focused on his performance at Roland Garros.

Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev and Paula Badosa also made headlines, with Medvedev advancing to the third round after Miomir Kecmanovic's retirement and Badosa setting up a meeting with Aryna Sabalenka after defeating Yulia Putintseva.

In contrast to recent criticisms of crowd behaviour from players like Iga Swiatek, Badosa offered a different perspective, stating, "I think she cannot complain, because I played court eight and nine and you can hear everything."

In a surprise upset, Jelena Ostapenko fell to Clara Tauson, while Danielle Collins was defeated by Olga Danilovic in a tightly contested match.

Novak Djokovic and other top players continue to navigate through the challenges of Roland Garros, balancing their pursuit of victory with external distractions and the demands of the tournament.

Also Read: Champions League final, Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund: Date, time, where to watch in India & more

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