Novak Djokovic’s final preparations for 2024 Roladn Garros suffered a setback when he bowed out of the Gonet Geneva Open in the semifinals, losing to Tomas Machac, 6-4, 0-6, 6-1.

"I think I have no reaction right now, was just fighting for every ball," Machac said on court after reaching his first career ATP final. "When you play against the world No. 1, you just hope to play your best and see what happens."

Djokovic was looking to reach his first final of the 2024 season, but despite blanking Machac in the second set, the top seed faded over three sets to his Czech rival, who went on to score the biggest win of his career after two hours and five minutes on Center Court.

The world No. 1 last reached a final at the end of the 2023 season in Turin, where he won his record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title—surpassing Roger Federer’s previous record of six—and after six months was in the midst of his longest drought since 2017-2018, when he went 11 months without making a final. His quest for an 11th Australian Open title ended at the hands of eventual champion Jannik Sinner in the semifinals, and he endured his first defeat to Casper Ruud in the semis of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Adding injury to insult, Djokovic incurred a bizarre head injury after a dominant start at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, a water bottle causing him to suffer self-described concussion symptoms and a third-round exit to Alejandro Tabilo.


Looking for momentum ahead of Roland Garros, Djokovic accepted a wild card into the ATP 250 in Geneva, a strategy that paid off in 2021 when he snapped a five-month title drought in Belgrade en route to lifting his second trophy in Paris.

Scoring his 1100th match win over Yannick Hanfmann in his opening round, the 37-year-old navigated a tricky first set against Tallon Griekspoor to book the semifinal meeting with Machac, a 23-year-old enjoying a career-best season.

Fresh off a maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal at the Miami Open, Machac pushed Djokovic to a third-set tiebreaker in their first encounter last February as a qualifier in Dubai. That experience appeared to pay off early on when Machac shrugged off a 1-4 deficit to win five straight games and take the opening set from an out-of-sorts Djokovic, who called a medical timeout between sets.

Looking stronger in the second set, Djokovic capitalized on a lapse in focus to score a 6-0 second set and level the match against Machac, who wouldn’t get on the board until the second game of the decider.

Once he did, he began to turn the tables on Djokovic, who threw in a poor service game to hand his opponent the break. Djokovic threatened to break straight back with a strong backhand down the line, but Machac replied with equal aggression, pressuring the Serb with a foray to net and ultimately consolidating for a 3-1 lead.

A frustrated Djokovic saved a break point that would have put him down a double break, but a double fault quickly pulled up another and Machac made no mistake to put himself two games from the upset.

Machac continued pressing with the finsih line in sight, nailing a backhand winner of his own to force Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. Down match point, Djokovic pushed a backhand long to clinch the match for Machac, who awaits the winner of the second semifinal between No. 2 seed Casper Ruud and Flavio Cobolli.