Novak Djokovic makes Wimbledon admission, gives deep insight into state of his knee

Djokovic addresses the state of his knee and deciding to be in the Wimbledon main draw.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Novak Djokovic makes Wimbledon admission, gives deep insight into state of his knee
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Novak Djokovic was straight honest during his Wimbledon pre-tournament press conference as the Serb admitted that he feared he would not make it to Wimbledon before adding that his knee responded to training this week and that he is positive about his chances of playing. 

As you already probably know extremely well, Djokovic tore his knee meniscus during his French Open round-of-16 match against Francisco Cerundolo and two days later had surgery to repair the damage. When it was reported on June 5th that Djokovic had knee surgery, there wasn't really much belief that the Serb would be able to play at Wimbledon since it was starting on July 1st. 

But miraculously, Djokovic had a pretty quick recovery and after talking with some other athletes who dealt with similar injury, the record 24-time Grand Slam champion got encouraged that playing at The All England Club was a real possibility this year. 

“When that happened in the fourth round of Roland Garros, I made a very quick decision to have surgery and I was very much in doubt to make Wimbledon,” Djokovic admitted. 

“Then, after extensive conversations with certain athletes that have been through very similar situations – for example, Taylor Fritz, who has been through something pretty much the same like I have three years ago. He said 21 days after he played his first round in Wimbledon.

“(Stan) Wawrinka, Lindsey Vonn, they all shared their experiences and really, that gave me faith and optimism that if rehab is done right and correct, and if of course the knee responds well – which is something that is very unpredictable – then there is a pretty good chance I’ll make Wimbledon."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Djokovic: The knee is tested almost to the maximum...

During last weekend, it was reported that seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic was planning to arrive to The All England Club on Monday and do some work on the practice court so he could test his knee. When the week started, Djokovic was spotted rocking a big bandage on his knee but he was looking well on the court. 

Now after having a couple of practices and playing practice matches against some of the best players in the world, Djokovic feels confident in his knee and believes that it is good enough for him to give a shot to tournament where he has had lots of success throughout his career. 

“I arrived here on Sunday. It’s been a week of training. A very good week of training. I had, particularly the last three days, very intense tennis sessions. I had points. Practice sets played with Sinner, with Frances Tiafoe, with Medvedev yesterday, and Emil Ruusuvuori, actually a double session, and then today with (Holger) Rune, as well," Djokovic said. 

“Really top players that are playing great tennis on grass. High intensity. Lots of, I guess, situations on the court where the knee is tested to almost the maximum. Change of directions. The knee has responded very well to all of that so far, which of course then is a great sign for my participation in Wimbledon. That’s why I decided to be in the draw."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Djokovic says he will have all the answers when real action starts

On Friday, the tournament main draw was released and second-seeded Djokovic learned that he would be taking on 123th-ranked qualifier Vit Kopriva in the Wimbledon first round. When the 37-year-old Serb and 27-year-old Kopriva meet, it will be their first meeting. But even though Djokovic is coming off surgery, he will definitely be a huge favorite if he doesn't experience any issues on the court, considering his track record on grass. 

But Djokovic doesn't want to give any definitive statements until Wimbledon starts and he sees how his knee reacts in real action.

“I still have a couple of days. I play on Tuesday. I’m confident about the health of my knee and just general physical state is really good," Djokovic noted.

“Obviously once the tournament starts, I’ll have more, I guess, sensations and more feedback from how the knee reacts to a best-of-five Grand Slam match. So far everything that was done was very positive.”

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Between 2019 and 2023, Djokovic won four consecutive Wimbledon titles. Last year, he was really close to winning his fifth consecutive title at The Championships but that didn't happen after Carlos Alcaraz handed him a five-set defeat in the final. 

Knowing Djokovic, he decided to play Wimbledon only because he feels he is ready to make another great run this year. 

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon
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