Novak Djokovic starts again in Tel Aviv. The Belgrade player played his last match at Wimbledon, in the final against Nick Kyrgios: a victory that gave him his seventh title at the All England Club and his 21st Grand Slam title.
However, once the grass stage was over, the former world number one was forced to remain in the pits. The decision not to undergo the Covid vaccine did not allow him to land on North American soil: without Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati and, above all, absent from the US Open.
The commitment after the second stage of the United States was going to be the Davis Cup. However, his brother's wedding made him give up representing his team as well. Djokovic, however, will be present at the Laver Cup: a tournament in which all the Fab Four will be present and, above all, in which Roger Federer will say goodbye to tennis.
Once the trip to London is over, the Serbian champion will fly to Tel Aviv. In Israel, he is the number one seed, followed by another Slam champion, Marin Cilic. However, in the Israeli city, Djokovic makes an unusual choice.
In Tel Aviv, Novak Djokovic will also play the doubles tournament. His partner in this adventure will be Jonathan Erlich: the 45-year-old Israeli will bid farewell to tennis in his country and will do so together with the player with whom he won the Queen's doubles tournament back in 2010.
Davis Cup picks aside, the last tournament the Serbian star saw in both singles and doubles was the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000.
Nole Djokovic will play the Tel Aviv Open
Journalist Ben Rothenberg painted a gloomy picture with regard to Novak Djokovic's prospects in the near future considering that the Serb has had little match practice.
"If that would be the case, at this point, I would actually pick Alcaraz over Djokovic, I think, because I just don't think Djokovic has the match prep," Rothenberg stated during the Match Point podcast on Tennis Majors. "I saw how slow he was to come back in the clay season this year when he didn't play Indian wells and Miami," Rothenberg said.
"He had a very slow start with the clay and so we'll see. I think he's gonna play some European tournaments this fall. I'd imagine he will get some matches. But in this imaginary scenario, where it's like the next big tournament, I don't think he has that time to get the confidence back."