Novak Djokovic’s recovery properties heralded by former No 1

James Richardson
Novak Djokovic shows his discomfort with an arm injury
Novak Djokovic shows his discomfort with an arm injury

Lindsay Davenport, a former WTA world No 1, recently commented on Novak Djokovic’s wrist issues and his seeimngly superhuman powers of recovery.

The American feels that the tennis world should not place too much emphasis on the Serb’s troubles in Melbourne, as he always appears to put them behind him.

Novak Djokovic has had an unusual start to his 2024 season. At the 2024 United Cup, the Serb was obviously injured and struggling with his wrist and required medical treatment during several matches. He was thus seemingly out of sorts when he arrived in Melbourne, taking four sets to defeat his first two opponents.

The 24-time Major champion should never be written off and he hit a hot streak in his third-round encounter against 30th-seeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The 36-year-old did not drop a single service game on his way to a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(2) triumph against the Argentine, proving to the rest of the tournament that he is still the man to beat at the 2024 Australian Open.

Against that backdrop, the Tennis Channel recently welcomed Lindsay Davenport on their podcast to discuss how Novak Djokovic’s wrist issue has caused him to be slow out the blocks this week. The three-time Major champion stated that, while Djokovic’s physical conditioning has been questioned in the past, it has not prevented him from ruling supreme.

“Yeah, he’s really had to spend a lot of energy in the first two rounds. There’s also the question about his forearm, his wrist that’s been bugging him, kind of caught him in the action in second round,” Davenport said on Tennis Channel Live Podcast.

“But again, he seems to have these issues at Majors a lot… we’ve seen him injured and still come out the winner.

“So we never know how much emphasis to put on it, but certainly in the second-round match, he was sick, he was stretching out his wrist all the time. He just always seems to recover, crazy.”

Djokovic attributes his own improvement in physical prowess on court and his health to a revised diet and supplementation programme.

He is also a proponent of minfulness which he has credited with improving his mental strength.

“I’ve done so much mindfulness that my brain functions better now automatically … I used to freeze up whenever I made a mistake. Now when I blow a serve or shank a backhand, I still get those flashes of self-doubt, but I know how to handle them,” Djokovic said.

This is not the first time Novak Djokovic has entered the Australian Open with an injury. The Serb won the competition in 2021 and 2023 despite suffering from abdominal tears and hamstring strains, respectively.

Djokovic will face 12th seeded American Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Wednesday 24 January 2024.

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