Can Novak Djokovic really win Wimbledon? Our analysis

The Serb seems to have brilliantly overcome the surgery to the meniscus, as seen by the victory in the 1st round of Wimbledon, but what will be his real physical condition?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Can Novak Djokovic really win Wimbledon? Our analysis
© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A surgery to the meniscus three weeks ago: yet the performance offered by Novak Djokovic in the first round of Wimbledon did not show any physical problem for the Serbian champion. Nole wanted to give himself the chance to play the Championships after undergoing an operation on his right knee last June 5th. The hard work done during the rehabilitation and the progress made as the days went by gave him the hope of being able to compete on the lawns of the All England Club despite the little time available.

The Serbian champion arrived in London early to test his conditions and train with the best tennis players. Djokovic paid close attention to his movements on the court, especially at the beginning of the match, but still dominated the qualifier Vit Kopriva ,earning the access to the second round, winning clearly 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Djokovic had to deal with many doubts in recent weeks: the first was directly linked to his presence at the Championships. After the surgery on his right knee, the Serbian champion began a race against time to try to play Wimbledon, the tournament he has always loved and that allowed him to realize one of his greatest dreams.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

At the press conference after the victorious first round, Nole analyzed the progress of the match and focused both on the doubts he had on the eve of the tournament at the All England Club, and on the opponent he will face in the 2nd round.

"The week of training, as I said, was fantastic. It's clear that the competition is very different, especially when it's your first official match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. I didn't know how I would feel on the court and how my knee would respond, but I couldn't have asked for a better start to the tournament. Today I didn't feel any pain comparable to the one I felt during the match I played against Francisco Cerundolo at Roland Garros. I started a little cautiously, maybe not pushing 100%. I played well enough to win confidently in three sets. I felt that as the minutes went by I was starting to move better and better.

There were points - one allowed me to break my opponent - where I tried to slide on the grass and that was something I hadn't done even in training. I'm very happy to be able to do it, because sometimes you can hesitate mentally. Knowing that you can make certain plays is comforting. Jacob Fearnley in the 2nd round? I've never seen him play, so I'll have to study. I know he got a wild card and I will analyze his match today. The fans will be on his side and no one likes to play a British player at Wimbledon. I can't wait for the second round to maintain that form that allows me to compete at the highest level in best-of-five set matches," he said.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

But what are the Serbian's chances for the rest of the tournament?

Draw in hand, his path, at least until the 4th round and the quarterfinals is overall easy. It helps that Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are in the top-half. His physical condition will have to be monitored match by match but, the first impression, after the first round, is that of a player who seems to have left the meniscus surgery at home. Despite the visible bandage, Djokovic moved well and his knee did not suffer. On a surface like the grass of the first rounds of the tournament - still intact - Nole could have had some difficulty, but fortunately his knee gave more than positive responses. An injection of confidence for the rest of the tournament. Can Nolo really win Wimbledon? Yes, I think so, provided that he has really overcome the knee problem and that, in the meantime, he has recovered the physical condition necessary to face high-level opponents in the best of 5 sets. Experience is on his side; if Djokovic does Djokovic, he is the man to beat.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon
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