June 14, 2024
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic arrives on court

Novak Djokovic looks set to skip Wimbledon after undergoing knee surgery, but he remains determined to be fit for the 2024 Olympics and he is set to play a warm-up event before the Paris Games.

The tennis great’s 2024 French Open campaign ended in anguish as he was forced to withdraw from his quarter-final clash against Casper Ruud earlier in the week after aggravating his knee injury during his fourth-round win over Francisco Cerundolo.

The 24-time Grand Slam winner suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee during a slip early in the second set and he underwent surgery at the Clinique du Sport in Paris on Wednesday with the procedure lasting about 15 minutes.
It has been reported that he will be out of action for between three weeks and eight weeks, but Djokovic hasn’t officially withdrawn from Wimbledon as he has insisted he is determined to “return to court as soon as possible”.

“I’m going to do my best to be healthy and fit to return to the court as soon as possible. My love for this sport is strong and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going,” he said in a statement on social media after his operation.

With Wimbledon starting on July 1, a three-week timeline to regain full fitness for the grass-court Grand Slam would seem a risky move by the Serbian.

Many believe the 37-year-old – who will drop to either No 2 or No 3 in the ATP Rankings after the French Open – will shift his focus to the 2024 Paris Games, which gets underway on July 27 at Roland Garros.
With the tournament taking place on clay, players will be eager to get a warm-up tournament on the surface ahead of the Olympics and Djokovic will reportedly enter the Hamburg Open.
The ATP 500 event will run from July 15-21 and Djokovic will likely be one of several high-profile players to enter the main draw as Alexander Zverev and Holger Rune have already confirmed their participation.

But former world No 1 Andy Roddick has warned that the 37-year-old Djokovic needs to carefully consider his comeback plans as he could cause further damage by returning too early.

The US Open starts just three weeks after the Olympics.

“A torn meniscus in your knee is not a massive thing when you are 24, 25, 26, but the timing of this sucks. It’s the shortest time of the year for a turnaround,” Roddick told the Served With Andy Roddick podcast.

“I’d say grass is his best surface right now and the worst surface for the guys he’s going against.
“If he pulls out in two weeks, that’s bad. That also puts the US Open in jeopardy and he could just put a wrap on this season and have one final push next year. Let’s get healthy for next year.

“The classy thing to do is if you know there is no chance of playing, you haven’t hit a tennis ball or do any fitness, the best thing he could do for the field is to pull out before the (Wimbledon) draw is made.”

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