"I said exactly a year ago that it could happen": Tennis coach Petar Popovic blames poor schedule for Novak Djokovic's injury at Roland Garros

Wednesday, 05 June 2024 at 15:26
Tennis coach Petar Popovic believes that poor scheduling was one of the primary reasons why Serbia’s legendary tennis star Novak Djokovic had to withdraw from the French Open.
The 37-year-old is often regarded as the greatest player in the history of men’s tennis in the Open era, having won as many as 24 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic is going through a difficult campaign where he is yet to play in the final of any event. That streak continued as the reigning world number one had to withdraw from the ongoing mega-event at Roland Garros, just before the quarterfinal against Norway’s Casper Ruud, because of a knee injury.
Popovic, who is a renowned coach and has been working with France’s Corentin Moutet since November 2022, was recently quoted in a report where he suggested the primary reasons which forced Djokovic to withdraw from the mega-event were his age and the schedule, which did not leave the three-time French Open to have proper rest.
Novak Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the French Open because of a knee injury.
"The first culprit for the injury is the aging... I said exactly a year ago that it could happen, a knee injury," he said. “Especially the fact that he played two matches in five sets, which affected him the most, that he did not sleep, that is that he went to bed at six in the morning after the match with Musetti."
Popovic was probably referring to how Djokovic was forced to play till three in the morning in the fixture against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti where he eventually came out on top in a five-set thriller with a score of 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. That was the latest a game ended in the history of Grand Slams.
After that triumph, the Belgrade-born star defeated Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in another five-set thriller with a score of 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

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