Ex-tennis ace accuses media of losing their minds over Novak Djokovic's come back

Former tennis player Mark Petchey, the media has used a different standard for the Serb than the one reserved for Taylor Fritz in 2021 for the same issue

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Ex-tennis ace accuses media of losing their minds over Novak Djokovic's come back
© Adam Pretty / Staff Getty Images Sport

The most anticipated tennis player in the men's singles of the Wimbledon Championships is - needless to say - Novak Djokovic. In a men's tournament in which, for the first time, the weight of the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is felt, attention is necessarily focused on the Serbian tennis GOAT.

Men's tennis, which lacks the charisma of Roger and Rafa (but also that of players like Juan Martin del Potro or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and which sees both Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray at the end of their respective careers, clings tightly to the endless charisma of the Serbian star, hoping that Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz can fully take on the difficult and tough legacy of these great champions.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Adam Pretty / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

But in the meantime, the question everyone is asking is: what is Djokovic's physical condition? The 254-time Grand Slam champion has won Wimbledon 7 times and, a further success, would bring him to equal his eternal rival Roger Federer, probably taking away one of the last records he currently holds. The Serb's conditions, however, are still to be evaluated; about twenty days ago he underwent surgery to the meniscus and his presence at the Championships was in the balance until the draw. For many he couldn't do it, especially since Djokovic's primary goal, in addition to the London tournament, is to be at his best for the Paris Olympic Games, an event that will be held immediately after.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Adam Pretty / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Djokovic has followed, in some ways, in the footsteps of American tennis player Taylor Fritz, who also just came off a victory in Eastbourne this year. Fritz suffered a major injury and, immediately afterwards - a few days later - managed to take part in the London tournament. Among other things, Djokovic revealed that he also spoke with Fritz before making the decision to participate in the tournament.

Through his X account, former British player Mark Petchey talked about the difference in media treatment between Fritz and Djokovic: no one was talking about Fritz's great show of strength and, instead, now everyone is praising Djokovic and his passion for tennis. A critical tweet that has really caused a lot of discussion:

"I didn't come here to play a few rounds. I want to aim for the title." These were the very clear words expressed by Djokovic in the Wimbledon media day, to underline how he is ready to face his adventure in the 2024 edition of Wimbledon. A journalist focused on the reason why Nole wanted to speed up his return to the court at all costs.

"That's a good question, my wife asked me that too. I'm 37, maybe I should take fewer risks and prepare especially for the Olympics. I have the feeling that I won't miss a Slam as long as I can play. I wouldn't call it fear of missing something, just an incredible desire to play, to compete especially because it's Wimbledon, the tournament that has always been a dream for me. The simple idea of ​​missing this event was not right. I'm going through this knee injury for the first time in my life. I wanted to see how quickly I could recover and be in a position to compete in a best of five sets on grass against the best in the world.

The last three days have made me optimistic that I can really play matches at the highest level. Maybe it's not ideal for doctors and specialists who advise you to rest for 3 or 6 weeks. The longer it is, the better to avoid risks, but it's an individual and subjective thing. Everyone has a different response to recovery, rehabilitation, exercises. I haven't had any relapses and now my intensity is very high, the knee is fine, there hasn't been any negative reaction," he explained.

Novak Djokovic Mark Petchey Taylor Fritz
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