ATP injury crisis before Roland Garros? Enter stage left: Novak Djokovic for ultimate clean-up job

Friday, 03 May 2024 at 15:36
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Novak Djokovic has been widely dismissed when it has come to conversations other than his supposed slump in recent months. But it would be very in keeping with the 24-time Grand Slam champion to return to the sport in the lead up to Roland Garros and stage the ultimate clean up job.
While for Djokovic, he will know that no matter what his time in the sport is heading towards its conclusion whether in one year or three years. But his slump has been over exaggerated and comes from a place of Djokovic's schedule almost being used as a barometer. But amid all of the issues that surround the current crop of top tennis stars in terms of injuries, number 25 becomes a bigger possibility.

Alcaraz, Medvedev and Sinner all injured

Going into the clay court swing and after the Sunshine Double, the stock had risen for Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in particular. But that soon faded with Alcaraz not able to play Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. He then limped through Madrid and will now not play Rome. This will be a help or a hindrance as he looks to return to form in time for Roland Garros after forearm issues.
Sinner could've became World No.1 at Rome, but whether he plays remains to be seen. The Italian will become the top player eventually due to defending minimal in comparison to Djokovic, but he is very much not 100% for Rome and will make the decision if he plays going into next week. Medvedev too is having MRI scans after not being able to move during his retirement against Jiri Lehecka.
Also with the absence of recent forerunners in Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas doing well in Madrid, it has certainly opened the door for Djokovic. Case and point is the semi-finals in Madrid with Taylor Fritz facing Andrey Rublev and Jiri Lehecka taking on Felix Auger-Aliassime. Four players among the best outside of the top names, but not expected to usurp those at the top. That has been a theme though with Tsitsipas and Ruud re-emerging after a slump to become relevant during this clay court swing.
With others floundering, could Novak Djokovic seal the ultimate clean-up job.
There is also the Rafael Nadal factor to it all. He will be heavily touted during the tournament as it will be his farewell but in reality is unlikely to string together the results he needs at Roland Garros at this point of his career. But the attention will turn to him instead of the World No.1. As a player who looks proving people wrong, this provides the perfect tonic for Grand Slam no.25 and the ultimate clean up job for the Serbian kingpin, Novak Djokovic.

Men’s tennis right now Alcaraz struggling with his arm Sinner struggling with his hip Medvedev injured with his groin/hip/adductor Expectations not high with Rune right now Zverev subpar clay season so far Nadal semi-retired Novak Djokovic heading to RG


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