Novak Djokovic’s knee still creates problems

Novak Djokovic is not yet 100% physically

by Simone Brugnoli
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Novak Djokovic’s knee still creates problems
© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

When Novak Djokovic retired from Roland Garros and had knee surgery, almost no one expected him to compete at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships. The Serbian suffered a bad injury in Paris, which prevented him from facing Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals. Many fans thought that Nole would focus directly on the Paris Olympics, which is perhaps his big goal in 2024.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

The 24-time Grand Slam champion has never won gold at the Olympics and has repeatedly revealed that that is his greatest dream. Despite knee surgery, Djokovic recovered quickly and trained intensively before Wimbledon. The former world number 1 has decided to play Wimbledon, suffering more than expected in the first rounds.

Having easily beaten Kopriva in his debut, Novak struggled to beat Fearnley in the second round and the Australian Alexei Popyrin in the third round. Djokovic will face Holger Rune for a place in the quarter-finals and will have to play much better if he wants to move on to the next round. Nole has often suffered against Rune, who is able to put him in trouble thanks to his aggressive and varied tennis.

Novak Djokovic is not at his best

Novak Djokovic’s condition is improving with the passing days, but the Serbian has admitted that he is still not 100% fit. "I’m happy with how things have gone so far, but the reality is quite complicated. I’ve moved better than the first two matches, I’m playing quite freely and I don’t feel pain, but we have to work a lot with the physiotherapist to be able to play every match" - Nole confessed in an interview with SportKlub.

The match between Djokovic and Rune will close the program on Centre Court. Although the Serbian is still not 100%, Rune does not trust the conditions of Novak: "I expect a tough battle as always. Djokovic is one of the best players of all time, he won the most. I’m gonna have to level my game to get a chance to win. I always find myself better on this surface, I realized that service and response are the most important shots to do well on grass."

The young Dane criticized the programming: "I was surprised that they booked me on Court No.18, but I accepted it. They moved us to Camp No.1 after the rain suspension and found an energy similar to that of the Centre Court." Rune was very close to losing to Frenchman Halys, but came back two sets behind before dominating the fifth set.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Returning to Djokovic, the former world number 1 spoke about many topics at the last press conference. Serbian legend has also questioned the future of tennis: "Slams are the most exciting events on the calendar, because fans love fifth set matches. I support the five-set format, especially in the final stages of the Majors.

It might be a good idea to play the first round at the best of the three sets and change the format from the round of 16 or the quarter. We need to find new solutions to make tennis more attractive to young people. Although tennis has a very wide popularity, it is only number 9 or 10 per commercial exploitation. Now we have sports like padel and pickleball that are growing, people like them and they’re cheaper than tennis. For the owner of a club, it is more convenient to build three padel courts in the space occupied by a tennis court."

Wimbledon always gives emotions

The 2024 Wimbledon Championships are giving many emotions and twists, despite the rain has damaged the schedule. This edition of the tournament has recorded a historic record: during Wimbledon 2024, ten times the winning tennis player has come back two sets of disadvantage. Eight of these comebacks occurred in the first round (Harris on Michelsen, Tiafoe on Arnaldi, Thompson on Kotov, Bublik on Mensik, Machac on Goffin, Safiullin on Cerundolo, Kokkinakis on Auger-Wild aliassime and Seyboth on Jubb). Grigor Dimitrov also made a huge comeback against Shang and Rune came back to Halys in the third round.

According to bookmakers, Jannik Sinner is the big favorite to win the 2024 Wimbledon Championships. Behind the Italian, there are Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard struggled a lot against Tiafoe and Humbert and is expected from a difficult match against Tommy Paul. Sinner will face Daniil Medvedev for a semi-final spot, after beating him on the last five occasions.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

In the second week of the Wimbledon Championships, fans and insiders expect excitement and twists. Djokovic’s physical condition is a cause for concern, and many speculate that the Serbian champion will be eliminated prematurely.

The former World No.1 has shocked the world several times managing to win titles despite poor physical condition. The most striking examples were the Australian Open 2021 and the Australian Open 2023.

Novak Djokovic
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