Novak Djokovic named ‘joint-favourite’ to win Wimbledon by former world No 4

Shahida Jacobs
Greg Rusedski has shared his thoughts on Novak Djokovic
Greg Rusedski believes Novak Djokovic is one of the favourites for the title

Novak Djokovic has “passed the biggest test with flying colours” and is now the man to beat at Wimbledon alongside Jannik Sinner, according to former British No 1 Greg Rusedski.

Following weeks of speculation about whether or not he will compete at the All England Club as he underwent knee surgery in early June, Djokovic now finds himself in the quarter-final of the grass-court Grand Slam for the 15th time.

His knee has held up well during his first four matches and on Monday he breezed past Holger Rune as he dispatched the 15th seed 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours.

The Centre Court clash, though, was marred by drama as Djokovic had a run-in with the crowd as he felt they booed him throughout the match, although many of them were simply cheering on Rune.

“To all the fans who have respect and have stayed here tonight, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it,” the 24-time Grand Slam winner said.

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Djokovic added: “And to all those people who have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case, me, have a goooood night. Goooood night. Goooood night. Very good night.”

Rusedski was one of those who felt that most of the spectators were simply shouting Rune with an emphasis on the “u” in his surname.

“Everyone thinks it’s being rude, but it’s just the Danish chant so there’s nothing disrespectful to Novak there,” the former world No 4 told Sky Sports. “He’s a great champion and the Danes have their chant for Rune and we’re going to hear that a lot more as his career progresses.”

As for Djokovic’s performances so far in the tournament, Rusedski is impressed as he has dropped only two sets so far.

The Serbian was written off by many after he lost in the semi-final of the Australian Open and was forced to withdraw from his quarter-final clash at Roland Garros after injuring his knee.

1997 US Open runner-up Rusedski added: “He passed the biggest test with flying colours. Some people were like, ‘what test was there?’ We saw him do the full splits with the knee which shows us that he’s fully fit.

“Holger hits the ball harder than most people on the tour and it didn’t bother him whatsoever. He’s defying logic and now he’s joint-favourite with Jannik Sinner.”

1999 Australian Open finalist Thomas Enqvist also feels Djokovic is “ready for another title”.

“When Novak puts his mind into it – for me, it means he is ready,” the Swede said. “He has the game face on and that’s what we all like to see.

“Novak is into it and he’s won this title seven times before so, for me when I saw that I thought, ‘yes, he’s ready for another title’.”