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Novak Djokovic endured a troubled build-up to the French Open amid doubts around his fitness.

The second grand slam of the year began at Roland-Garros on May 28 and Djokovic is among the leading contenders for glory.

He returned to action at the Italian Open this month after some time in the treatment room with an elbow injury.

But will he be fit enough to have a realistic shot at adding to his 22 grand slam titles?

MORE: When is French Open 2023? Dates, draw and tickets for grand slam at Roland Garros

Is Novak Djokovic playing in the French Open?

Despite doubts as to whether Djokovic is at peak fitness, he is appearing at Roland-Garros.

Djokovic, who turned 36 on May 22, lost his world number one status and therefore the top seeding before the event in Paris, with Carlos Alcaraz replacing him.

However, he shrugged off injury concerns to progress through the rounds at the Italian Open, although he has certainly not been at his eye-catching best.

After defeating Grigor Dimitrov in a testing three-set tussle, Djokovic was in determined mood as he outlined how he can summon something special when up against it.

“Luckily for me in my career I managed to win more matches than those that I lost when I was facing difficult circumstances,” he said. “I also lost a lot of matches, particularly in the beginning of my career. For a few years, whenever I needed to make that final step or win a Slam, I didn’t manage to do that, so I learned a lot.

“I got stronger because of the rivalries, particularly with [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and [Andy] Murray. Just staying the course, staying patient and believing in the process and the journey… Understanding what works for you best, what’s your winning formula mentally and also physically and emotionally, and then sticking to it.”

MORE: Who has won the most grand slam titles?

Novak Djokovic next French Open match, schedule

Djokovic’s next match at the 2023 French Open will be against Carlos Alcaraz or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.  The match will take place on Friday, June 9.

Djokovic breezed past Aleksandar Kovacevic in the opening round in straight sets and dispatched Marton Fucsovics in the second.

Juan Pablo Virillas was the third man to suffer a straight-sets defeat in the third round, but Djokovic faced a sterner test against Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals, the 11th seed winning the first set and forcing a tie-breaker in the second.

Djokovic won all seven points in that breaker and, from there, he didn’t look back: the Serbian took the next two sets to progress to the semifinals, where Alcaraz or Tsitsipas await.

How many times has Novak Djokovic won the French Open? 

Djokovic has won the French Open twice (2016, 2021) and has also lost the showpiece match four times (2012, 2014, 2015, 2020).

The French Open is Djokovic’s least successful grand slam event overall, with the Serbian winning the US Open three times, Wimbledon seven times and the Australian Open 10 times. 

He has extended a record that has seen him reach at least the quarterfinals in each edition since 2010.

Year Djokovic’s French Open result
2022 Quarter-finalist
2021 Winner
2020 Runner-up
2019 Semi-finalist
2018 Quarter-finalist
2017 Quarter-finalist
2016 Winner
2015 Runner-up
2014 Runner-up
2013 Semi-finalist
2012 Runner-up
2011 Semi-finalist
2010 Quarter-finalist
2009 Third round
2008 Semi-finalist
2007 Semi-finalist
2006 Quarter-finalist
2005 Second round

How has Novak Djokovic performed in 2023 so far?

In every year from 2006 onwards, Djokovic has won at least two titles, and he has already guaranteed that he will extend that run with a brace of triumphs in 2023.

Djokovic signalled his intent early with a victory in his first tournament of the year in Adelaide, which proved a warning shot to his rivals at the Australian Open.

He was also victorious at the first grand slam of the year, being crowned champion at Melbourne Park for a record-extending 10th time.

But it has not all been positive news for Djokovic, whose elbow issues saw him sit out the Madrid Open last month.



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