Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024

Djokovic stays grounded after opening win at Roland Garros



World no. 1 keeps low expectations despite a strong start against Herbert

Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, began his Roland Garros title defence with a convincing 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Tuesday. Despite this strong performance, Djokovic maintains his cautious approach, reiterating his mantra of “low expectations and high hopes” as he aims for his fourth French Open title.

Before the tournament, Djokovic stated his intention to approach Roland Garros with tempered expectations. After securing his opening win, he affirmed this outlook, reflecting on the variability of his recent performances. “I still stay with it,” Djokovic said. “Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Geneva tournaments started really well for me. The first matches I played were great. The second and, third matches were quite different. So I don’t want to get too excited.”

Djokovic acknowledged areas for improvement in his game, particularly in his return games. He also credited Herbert for his strong performance. “I thought it was a good performance for me, solid. Of course, I could have done better, I think, on return games, but also credit to him for serving very well, for changing things up.”

Herbert’s tactics, including a well-executed kick serve and effective net game, posed challenges for Djokovic. The Frenchman, buoyed by the supportive Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd, kept the match competitive. However, Djokovic showcased his resilience and strategic prowess during crucial moments. “In the moments when it mattered, I think I delivered, played a great tie-break, stayed focused,” he noted. “I’m glad that I started the way I started, the way I felt on the court. Compared to the previous weeks of tournaments I played, I felt good and better. So I’m moving in a positive direction. It’s just the beginning.”

Djokovic emphasized his satisfaction with his mental approach during the match. Reflecting on his behaviour and mindset, he said, “I was fist-pumping, I was focused, I was there, I was present. So I’m pleased with the way at least I behaved or had a mindset on the court. That was something that I was looking for. And where are you going to feel that way if not in Grand Slams?”

Looking ahead, Djokovic will face Roberto Carballes Baena in the second round. Should he advance, potential matchups include Lorenzo Musetti or Gael Monfils in the third round. Djokovic’s goal is to reach at least the final to have a chance of retaining his world No. 1 ranking, currently threatened by Jannik Sinner’s ascent.


Novak Djokovic’s measured approach to his Roland Garros title defence reflects a seasoned athlete’s awareness of the complexities of maintaining peak performance. His strategy of balancing low expectations with high hopes demonstrates a mature mindset aimed at managing pressure and avoiding complacency.

From a psychological perspective, Djokovic’s focus on his mental state reveals the importance he places on psychological readiness in high-stakes tournaments. His emphasis on staying present and maintaining a strong mindset is crucial for navigating the challenges of Grand Slam events, where mental toughness often separates champions from the rest.

Economically, Djokovic’s participation in Roland Garros and his pursuit of a fourth title have significant implications. His presence attracts global viewership, boosting media rights values and sponsorship deals for the tournament. Furthermore, his matches generate substantial ticket sales and local economic activity, benefiting businesses in the vicinity of Roland Garros.

Politically, Djokovic’s comments and actions can influence public and fan perceptions. By acknowledging his opponent’s strengths and expressing a realistic outlook, he presents a relatable and humble image. This approach can enhance his popularity and align him with the values of sportsmanship and respect.

From a sociological standpoint, Djokovic’s journey resonates with fans who appreciate his resilience and strategic thinking. His ability to adapt and overcome challenges reflects broader themes of perseverance and dedication, inspiring both aspiring athletes and casual fans.

In terms of gender and representation, Djokovic’s success highlights the prominence of male athletes in tennis. However, it also opens discussions about the visibility and recognition of female tennis players, urging a more balanced representation in media coverage and public discourse.

Locally, Djokovic’s matches at Roland Garros contribute to the cultural and social vibrancy of Paris. The tournament serves as a gathering point for fans, fostering community engagement and collective celebration of athletic excellence.

In conclusion, Novak Djokovic’s grounded approach to his Roland Garros title defence underscores his strategic mindset and psychological resilience. His performance and perspectives offer valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of professional tennis, encompassing psychological, economic, political, sociological, and gender-related dimensions.


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