Player Features

Five Things To Know About Djokovic’s Geneva Opponent Tomas Machac

Czech pushed Djokovic to a third-set tie-break in Dubai last year
May 24, 2024
Tomas Machac is playing Novak Djokovic for the second time.
Gonet Geneva Open
Tomas Machac is playing Novak Djokovic for the second time. By ATP Staff

Editor's Note: This story was first published in 2023

ATP looks at five things you should know about Tomas Machac, who Friday takes on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Gonet Geneva Open.

His Sporting Idol Is Michael Jordan

Two years before Machac was born in 2000, Michael Jordan played his last game as a member of the Chicago Bulls. That hasn’t stopped the Czech from growing into a huge fan of both the Bulls and Jordan. 

“It is crazy what this guy did in his career,” said Machac of Jordan in an interview with last year. “His achievements, the moments he had were unbelievable. I learned [from watching him that] some days if you don’t feel well or are sick or something goes wrong, you can still fight, you can still make yourself comfortable in that moment and improve something in your game.”

His Sister’s Love Of Tennis Changed His Life
Perhaps Machac would have been destined for a future in basketball were it not for his older sister, Katerina. She fell in love with tennis as a teen and regularly competed in tournaments from when Tomas was four years old. That paved the way for his development as a tennis talent.

“I was travelling with her and with my family and I was playing against the wall every time,” said Machac. “I was playing for example six hours per day on the wall, because I didn’t want to be bored watching the tennis, so I played lots of tennis.”

He Is Good At Keepie Uppies… Even Without A Ball!
Machac’s excellent hand-eye coordination has not just helped the Czech reach a career-high No. 97 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he posted a video on Instagram demonstrating some impressive footwork with a roll of toilet paper!

He Has Past Experience Facing A World No. 1
Machac’s played Djokovic in Dubai last year, getting to within sight of victory before the Serbian held firm in a third-set tie-break to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(1). In 2022, the Czech faced Daniil Medvedev — who was then atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, falling 6-3, 6-2.

Despite a straight-sets defeat to Medevedev on that occasion, Machac has regularly showcased his ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the best on Tour. He defeated Richard Gasquet and Daniel Evans while representing the Czech Republic at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals, while he also pushed Casper Ruud to four sets at this year’s Australian Open.

He Can Always Turn To His Girlfriend For On-Court Advice
Machac doesn’t have to look far for tips on how he can make a greater mark on professional tennis. His girlfriend is Czech WTA star Katerina Siniakova, who has a career-high singles ranking of No. 31 and is three-time tour-level titlist. She is also the current World No. 1 in doubles, having won 20 tour-level titles, including seven Grand Slams.

“She’s a really good player,” Machac told “She’s had an unbelievable career… So I’m learning a lot from her."

Machac added: "She’s a fighter, and she never leaves any point in the game. She plays every point.”

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