ATP roundup: Tomas Machac upsets Novak Djokovic in Geneva

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Tomas Machac upset No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in the Gonet Geneva Open semifinals on Friday in Switzerland.

The roller-coaster match saw Machac rally from a 1-4 deficit to win the opening set, only to get blanked by the 24-time Grand Slam winner in the second. After Djokovic won his seventh straight game to open the deciding set, the 23-year-old Czech won the final six games for his second top-10 win.

“I have no reaction right now. I just fought for every ball,” Machac said after the 2-hour, 7-minute match. “When you play against Novak you just hope. You just try to play your best and see what it looks like.”

Djokovic was competing in the ATP 250 clay-court event for the first time as preparation for the French Open. The Serbian star celebrated his 37th birthday on Wednesday with his 1,100th tour-level victory.

Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and the defending French Open champion, will face Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the opening round in Paris on Tuesday.

He said he doesn’t see himself as a favorite heading to Roland Garros.

“Of course I’m worried,” Djokovic said. “I haven’t played well at all this year, apart from a few matches here and there. Things are what they are. I don’t see myself as a favorite in Paris. I will try to take the matches one after the other. I didn’t have a great night, and today was tough. I had horrible feelings during the first part of the match.”

Djokovic seemed to struggle physically at times and took a medical timeout following the first set.

“I don’t want to take any credit away from Tomas, who deserved his victory, but I don’t know what to think of this match,” he said. “I prefer to forget it. I don’t know how I was able to win the second set either. I was hoping to play more than one match when I came here, and I played three. But I wish I could feel better. It’s not nice to suffer like that on the court. It’s hard to concentrate on tennis when you have other things on your mind. I just hope to be ready and in good health for Roland Garros.”

Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in the world, finished Friday’s match with 29 winners and 18 unforced errors, compared to 21 winners and 17 unforced errors for the 44th-ranked Machac.

It is the latest upset loss for Djokovic, who fell to Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo in the third round in Rome earlier this month and lost to Italy’s Luca Nardi in the third round at Indian Wells in March. The 98-time titlist has not reached a final in 2024. He is 14-6 overall and 0-3 in semifinals.

Machac advanced to his first ATP Tour final, where he will face either two-time Geneva champion Casper Ruud of Norway or Italian Flavio Cobolli. Their scheduled Friday match was pushed back one day due to rain.

Open Parc

Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard pulled off a home-country upset, defeating No. 2 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals in Lyon, France.

Bublik hit eight aces, but they were negated by eight double faults. He also lost three of 10 break points. The 117th-ranked Perricard helped himself with 28 winners against 11 unforced errors and by winning 85 percent (34 of 40) of points on his first serve, compared to 63.3 percent (31 of 49) for Bublik.

In the final, Perricard will take on sixth-seeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina, who downed Luciano Darderi of Italy 6-2, 6-4.

Etcheverry fired eight aces, fended off all three break points and played a clean match, hitting 21 winners against five unforced errors.