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TENNIS

Which tournaments is Novak Djokovic playing before Wimbledon?

The defending Wimbledon champion will lose his number one ranking on Monday and won’t play any preparation tournaments, but he remains the favourite.

Update:
Djokovic planning cold assault on Wimbledon
Clive BrunskillGetty Images

Novak Djokovic will lose his world number one ranking on Monday, with Daniil Medvedez rising to the top of the ATP rankings, when the points from the 2021 French Open are removed and replaced with this year’s. Djokovic won at Roland Garros last year but was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2022 tournament by eventual champion Rafa Nadal. That game was a serious reverse for Djokovic, who had carried a winning streak into the second major of the year and was unhindered by any physical issues, unlike Nadal, who received pain-killing injections for a chronic foot injury throughout the tournament.

The Serb’s coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, said after the game that he and his charge had not analyzed the match “because [Djokovic] was disappointed and tired. It is not the time nor the place to speak about the match in-depth immediately after it was finished. I empathise with Novak, he is the one that is playing and fighting, so he is feeling the worst, and I am very sad for him because I thought that he could have won that match,” Ivanisevic told tennismajors.com.

Djokovic “will be completely ready for Wimbledon”

Ivanisevic went on to suggest that Djokovic will go into Wimbledon cold, without playing any warm-up tournaments on grass. The current number one is on holiday at the moment in Montenegro and his coach said he needed a complete break from tennis. “We will see, but now the key thing for him is to recover mentally. As I have said in the past, Novak is a genius with a different mindset than most of us. Even though he needs less time than most to come back and to figure some things out, he still needs to do it. He has overcome tough losses in the past, and I am completely certain that he will be ready for Wimbledon.”

Djokovic has endured a difficult season by his standards, being prevented from competing at the Australian Open, which was also won by Nadal, due to his covid vaccination status, and then lost in the Qatar quarter-finals to Jiri Vesely. He was then forced to withdraw from Indian Wells and Miami due to the US’ vaccination regulations and he then suffered a second-round defeat at the Monte-Carlo Masters against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. In Madrid he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz but he won the Italian Open for a 38th Masters title.

As such, there are some question marks over Djokovic’s chances at Wimbledon, where he is the defending champion. However, last year he only played doubles in Mallorca to limber up on grass and his record at Wimbledon is imposing: Djokovic has won six of the last 10 and reached a final, a semi-final and a quarter-final in that time, only failing to make the second week in 2016 when he suffered a shock defeat to Sam Querrey. On four of the occasions when Djokovic has won Wimbledon, he has played no warm-up tournaments on the surface before the grass slam.

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