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Djokovic gets late wild card to Geneva Open in bid for more clay action before Roland Garros

GENEVA (AP) — Novak Djokovic is a surprise entry for the Geneva Open, the last men’s warmup for the French Open, and could open against his old friend and rival Andy Murray.

The top-ranked Djokovic got the last wild card on Friday, Geneva organizers said. The main draw starts on Sunday.

Murray also has a wild card and will play Djokovic in the second round if he gets past Yannick Hanfmann in the first round that was drawn on Friday.

Djokovic has a 25-11 career record against Murray — including 5-2 in Grand Slam finals — though they have not faced each other in a tour match for more than seven years. Djokovic won a three-set final in Doha in February 2017.

Their next meeting could be on Djokovic’s 37th birthday on Wednesday in his first tournament match in Switzerland since 2011.

An unexpected loss last Sunday to 32nd-ranked Alejandro Tabilo in the third round of the Italian Open has left Djokovic looking for more games on clay before defending his title at Roland Garros.

He has a men’s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles. The French Open starts on May 26.

Djokovic’s other clay event this season at Monte Carlo ended in a loss to Casper Ruud in the semifinals. The seventh-ranked Ruud will seek a third Geneva title after wins in 2021 and ’22.

Djokovic last played a tournament in Switzerland in October 2011, losing in Basel to Kei Nishikori in the semifinals of Roger Federer’s hometown event. Djokovic had beaten Federer in the two previous Basel finals.


AP tennis: https://ift.tt/zSyGQ17

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