Conor Niland: 'Novak Djokovic is a victim of bad timing'

Novak Djokovic will try in every way to play Wimbledon

by Simone Brugnoli
Conor Niland: 'Novak Djokovic is a victim of bad timing'
© Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith

Is a new king ready to inherit Rafael Nadal's domination? Carlos Alcaraz has achieved one of the dreams he revealed he had since he was a child: winning Roland Garros, following in the footsteps of his compatriot idol.

A feat achieved in this edition of the Parisian tournament, with the Spaniard who was able to win the last two decisive matches, coming back from 1-2 against both Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. The young Iberian has shown that he has something more on clay than his direct opponents: this is the aspect that has made fans and enthusiasts reflect, who have wondered on social media whether a new Spanish domination can begin in the French event.

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2024
Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

One of the losers, at the end of the competition, is undoubtedly Novak Djokovic. The Serbian champion suffered a meniscus injury and was forced to abandon the event before playing the quarterfinals: the withdrawal did not allow him to defend the title won in 2023 and made him drop to number 3 in the world, with the South Tyrolean and Alcaraz himself now ahead.

Nole, with a post on Instagram, let fans know that he had watched the Roland Garros final on TV. During a recent interview with Tennis365, Conor Niland opened up on Djokovic.

Conor Niland reflects on Novak Djokovic

“Novak Djokovic is the gooseberry in the Federer vs Nadal rivalry,” said Conor Niland, who reached a career-high of No 129 in the ATP Rankings back in 2010 and played Djokovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open.

“It’s almost like Federer and Nadal are a couple of Novak came along to try and break them up. That’s how some tennis fans seem to see it.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

The fact that Djokovic came through a couple of years after them allowed him to raise his game to the level they were at and then he managed to sneak past them.”

After announcing his forfeit on the eve of the quarterfinal against Casper Ruud at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic wasted no time and immediately underwent surgery on his right knee in Paris after suffering a bad meniscus injury.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon