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Wimbledon 2024: Gunning for 8th title, Novak Djokovic says he wouldn’t have rushed recovery for any other tournament

Novak Djokovic, who had to withdraw from the French Open only a month ago following a meniscus tear in his right knee, returned to the grass court event with a first-round win

Wimbledon 2024: Gunning for 8th title, Novak Djokovic says he wouldn’t have rushed recovery for any other tournament
Novak Djokovic after his first round match in Wimbledon

Last Updated: 12.32 PM, Jul 03, 2024

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A month ago, there were serious doubts about whether 7-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic would make it to the grass court Grand Slam. The former No.1 was unable to defend his French Open title, after sustaining a tear in the meniscus of his right knee during his fourth round match against Francisco Cerundolo.

Although Djokovic soldiered on and won the match, he withdrew from the tournament ahead of the quarter-final match against Casper Ruud and got surgery on his knee. A quick recovery seemed doubtful and it was assumed that he’d focus on returning to court for the Paris Olympics only, much like Rafael Nadal, who’s chosen to skip Wimbledon this year .

Novak Djokovic at full stretch during his Wimbledon round 1 match
Novak Djokovic at full stretch during his Wimbledon round 1 match

Novak Djokovic on return after knee surgery

But then Dkjokovic surprised everyone by announcing he is participating after all, only 3 weeks after surgery on his knee and began his title pursuit with a first-round victory against Vit Kopriva (6-1 6-2 6-2). He will play Jacob Fearnley in the second round on July 4. Speaking after the match, Djokovic, who felt pleased with the way he managed on court, said, “Coming into Wimbledon this year was under different circumstances for me because of the knee. I did not know how everything was going to unfold on court because practice sessions are quite different than official match play. I’m extremely glad the way I felt today, the way I played,” he said, thanking the crowd for coming out and supporting him.

The tennis great was told about how much television cameras were focusing on his knee during the match, to which Djokovic, who is gunning for an 8th title in Wimbledon and equal Roger Federer’s record of wins on the grass court, added that he tried to focus on the game and not the knee. “Everything I could possibly do, I have done with my team to give myself a chance to play in front of you. I think if it was for any other tournament, I probably wouldn’t risk it and rush it as much; I just love Wimbledon,” he added.

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