‘People thought I was crazy when I said I didn’t think Novak Djokovic was going to win a major this year’

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic gestures at Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic points at Wimbledon

Patrick McEnroe is sticking to his early season prediction that Novak Djokovic won’t win any Grand Slams this year as he sees Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner as the “heavy favourites” to win Wimbledon.

Following yet another successful 2023 season during which he won the Australian Open, French Open and US Open, many pundits expected more of the same from Djokovic this year.

However, former world No 28 McEnroe was not one of those pundits as he felt that Djokovic would not add to his Grand Slams in 2024.

And so far has proven to be right as the tennis great lost in the semi-final of the Australian Open and then withdrew from his quarter-final at the French Open after suffering a serious knee injury.

He underwent surgery and it remains to be seen if he will play at Wimbledon this year.

As a seven-time champion at SW19, Djokovic would normally be the player to beat but that is not the case this year due to his form and injury woes.

Novak Djokovic into another Wimbledon final, Jannik Sinner dumped out – our big predictions

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer: Tennis great issues telling verdict on Big 3’s weaknesses

Former United States Davis Cup captain McEnroe feels reigning Wimbledon champion Alcaraz has the edge over Sinner with Djokovic a distant third.

“My assumption is he [Djokovic] is there practicing, seeing how it feels, seeing how it responds day to day. Clearly he’s hoping to play,” he said during an ESPN preview event.

“That being said, I’m trying to think if he was 100% healthy what the odds would be, ’cause right now you’ve got Alcaraz and Sinner as heavy favourites. Alcaraz is a slight favourite. Sinner is just right behind him, extremely close. Then there’s a big dropoff with Novak as the third guy.

“I’m assuming the big drop-off is mostly because of the injury issue. Then there’s even a more massive drop to the fourth, fifth, sixth guys that could potentially win, [Alexander] Zverev, [Daniil] Medvedev, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, guys like that.

“I think Djokovic, to me, I actually said at the beginning of the year, people thought I was crazy, maybe I am, but I didn’t think Djokovic was going to win a major this year for a variety of reasons.

“Now I have to say that the idea of him playing Wimbledon, if there’s one place where he could pull it off with this injury, having had this injury, maybe he could do it. Maybe this is what he needs to inspire him. He’s looked a little uninspired throughout most of this year, certainly in between Australia and the French Open where he suffered that injury.”

The draw gods have been kind to Djokovic as he could face Alexander Zverev in the semi-final while Sinner and Alcaraz are projected to meet in the other half of the draw.

McEnroe added: “I would still lean towards the two younger guys. I think they’ve both gotten over the hump as far as winning majors. It would be interesting if Djokovic could get through a round or two and looks like he’s the Djokovic we’ve come to know at Wimbledon and go for that eighth title.

“I would still say in my view, I think Alcaraz is the guy, but I think Sinner’s just right there with him.”