Novak Djokovic ‘angry’ and ‘hurting’ ahead of Wimbledon title defence, says Greg Rusedski

Novak Djokovic fired up

Former British No 1 Greg Rusedski believes three players have “separated themselves from the pack” ahead of Wimbledon while he also feels Novak Djokovic will be “angry” after failing to win a Grand Slam this year.

Having won both the Australian Open and French Open last year, Djokovic was the clear favourite ahead of Wimbledon 2021 and he lived up to expectations as he kept his hope of a Calendar Grand Slam alive by winning a sixth title at SW19.

However, it is a different story this year as he didn’t defend his title in Melbourne due to his unvaccinated status while he lost in the quarter-final at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal.

In fact, Nadal is now in exactly the same position as Djokovic was last year as the Spaniard won the opening two Grand Slams of the year.

1997 US Open runner-up Rusedski believes an “angry” Djokovic and Nadal will be the men to beat at SW19 this year along with Matteo Berrettini, who has won the Stuttgart Open and Queen’s Club Championships in the lead-up to Wimbledon.

“The problem you have is, you have players who have the potential but winning is a totally different thing,” he told Amazon Prime.

“Making the finals is one thing, but you have to have this mindset that’s absolutely insane these days because of the big three or four we’ve had over the generations.

“Djokovic is angry because he hasn’t won a Slam this year and the way he went out to Rafa in the French Open will have hurt him. Rafa’s trying to go for the calendar Slam. He wouldn’t be showing up if his foot wasn’t 100 per cent and he was ready to go and Berrettini has been by far the best.

“[Pole Hubert] Hurkacz is a guy who can go deep – semis or final – but win? Not with those three. Those three guys at the moment have separated themselves from the pack.”