July 24, 2024
Novak Djokovic

The Serbian is looking to Taylor Fritz’s experience after the American underwent similar meniscus surgery in 2021 between Roland Garros and London.

Novak Djokovic took a brief break out from his pre-Wimbledon preparation to attend Serbia’s final Euro 2024 group game as they drew 0-0 with Denmark and crashed out of the competition.

The 37-year-old has been in London since Sunday and has every intention of being present in the final draw of Wimbledon. Twenty days ago, the Serbian had surgery in Paris for a muscle tear in the meniscus in his right knee which forced him out of the Roland Garros quarterfinals due to problems being caused by the knee. At the time, the Serbian’s presence at Wimbledon seemed impossible. However, just three weeks after the operation, Djokovic is training on grass with no apparent side effects or setbacks. On Tuesday, he spent two hours on court with Federico Coria and, after a slow start he ended up playing two tie-breaks with the Argentine player.

Novak Djokovic has been inspired by the 2021 situation regarding Taylor Fritz with the American playing at Wimbledon after being injured at Roland Garros and undergoing similar meniscus surgery between one Grand Slam and the other. The American left Paris in a wheelchair and then reached the third round in London, where he lost against Zverev in four sets. In his case, after the intervention, it was predicted that he’d be out of action for between four and six weeks but the San Diego native was determined to play at the All England Club. “Now is the time to recover well and to try to reach Wimbledon,” he announced as soon as he left the operating room. And he fulfilled his promise.

Novak Djokovic
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic EMMANUEL DUNANDAFP

In the first round, Fritz beat Brandon Nakashima in four sets and in the second round advanced after taking Steve Johnson to five sets. “I’m sure this is the quickest return to real professional competition after this surgery,” he said after his second victory. “I felt my knee explode,” he recalled ahead of his third round match which ultimately ended in defeat to Alexander Zverev.

Now, Novak Djokovic will try to follow in the American’s footsteps. At the moment, after his two sessions in London, he is on the right track. This Monday, in an informal conversation with Carlos Alcaraz, he was optimistic. “I’m trying. “I have improved quickly,” he confessed to the Spaniard. Later speaking to the media he confirmed that he will only compete if he feels good enough to “fight for the title.” “I didn’t come here to spend a few rounds. I’ll play if I’m sure. I’m going to take it day by day, based on how I am, how I feel and if I can play at my best. I’m not putting myself to the limit, but I hope that happens in the next few days. “I wouldn’t be here without the doctors’ permission,” he explained.

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