Novak Djokovic's wife questioned why he rushed return after meniscus tear to play Wimbledon

Sunday, 30 June 2024 at 12:15
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Novak Djokovic's wife Jelena questioned his decision to play Wimbledon only weeks after having surgery on a meniscus tear in what has been a baffling recovery only a few weeks after getting injured and having the surgery.
It was widely reported that Djokovic would miss Wimbledon. But as ever with the former World No.1 and 24-time Grand Slam champion, he often proves people wrong and he did so again in this case. He was back in the gym within a week and back on the court only two weeks after and has had a lot of practice sets with Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune for instance to test his knee.
He has said that he has tested his knee to the limit ahead of the grass court major and that while he still has the chance to play at the highest level and at a major that means a lot to him and his career he will. A tournament that he called his dream since he was a kid, he said that drove him on.
He has won the Wimbledon title seven times and if he wins it in the coming weeks, it will be a record tying eight and with his career not at the start anymore, he will have limited opportunities to become the record holder. Something also that likely drives him on. How it affects him in the long run in trying to make the US Open and Olympic Games remains to be seen. But Djokovic who faces Vit Kopriva first up has shown again never to count him out.
“It’s a very fair question that I don’t know the answer to and I do know the answer to, to be honest,” said Djokovic.
“My wife also kind of asked the same question. Which is normal. 37 years old, you want to maybe have less risk and prepare yourself for the Olympic Games.
“So from that perspective, I don’t have an answer to that, but I do have something that is described as a feeling of not missing out at a Grand Slam while I can still play and while I’m still active and at this level.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) only tore his meniscus three weeks ago. An injury that should take months to heal post surgery.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) only tore his meniscus three weeks ago. An injury that should take months to heal post surgery.
“I wouldn’t call it a fear of missing out. I would just say it’s this incredible desire to play, just to compete. Particularly because it is Wimbledon, the tournament that always has been a dream tournament for me when I was a kid. I always dreamed of playing Wimbledon. Just the thought of me missing Wimbledon was just not correct. I didn’t want to deal with that.
“Again, also I think because I’ve been through — I’m going through this particular knee injury for the first time in my life, I wanted to see how fast can I really recover, and can I really be in a condition to compete for best-of-five on grass with best players in the world.
“As I said a few days ago, I didn’t come here to play a few rounds and prove to myself and others that I can actually compete in one or two matches. I really want to go for the title. So the last three days have given me enough optimism and good signs that I can actually be in a state to compete on the highest level for the next few weeks hopefully.”
“It’s probably less of a rational and logical explanation, but more of that inner feeling and sensation of really great desire to play Wimbledon. Any Grand Slam, but particularly Wimbledon for me,” he added. "I know that the Olympics are right after that on a completely different surface. I know all of that. But I’m thinking about Wimbledon. It’s a dream tournament. I needed to focus all my attention on that.
“We put a huge amount of hours in the last three weeks on a daily basis into rehab, into exercises, basically raising the level of intensity of training and rehab every single day, of course being very cautious of the knee and the reactions.
“I haven’t had any setback. If I had one setback, I would be then questioning whether I should be here or not. But I haven’t had a single one. Why not give it a shot?”

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