Novak Djokovic equals a Roger Federer Wimbledon record as he dazzles on injury comeback

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic celebrates at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships
Novak Djokovic celebrates at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships

Novak Djokovic dismantled Vit Kopriva in the opening round of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships in his first match since undergoing meniscus surgery. 

The legendary Serbian eased past Czech qualifier Kopriva, who is ranked 123rd, 6-1, 6-2 6-2 in the opening round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Djokovic showed no signs of being physically compromised after having an operation on his right knee less than a month ago, having suffered a meniscus tear at the French Open.

The 37-year-old tested his knee as he showcased his remarkable movement with some of his trademark slides and stretches into the corners.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion will face 22-year-old British wildcard and world No 277 Jacob Fearnley in the second round.

Djokovic, who is the No 2 seed, is looking to win an eighth Wimbledon crown to tie Roger Federer‘s men’s singles record.

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With his progress to the second round, Djokovic has equalled another record previously owned by his great former rival.

Like Federer, Djokovic has now reached the second round of the Wimbledon Championships 19 times, which is the most any player has managed in the men’s singles event in the Open Era.

In an on-court interview after his win over Kopriva, Djokovic said: “I’ve been fortunate comparing myself to other 37 year olds.

“I had injuries like anybody else but they come and go. It’s part of what you do. You just have to accept it and embrace it.

“I think Nick Kyrgios is in the commentary box. He’s been struggling a lot with injuries. Talking about major injuries he’s had a few. I’ve been very fortunate to not be away from tennis for long.

“As an athlete, I empathise with Nick and anyone who’s struggling. You almost feel helpless at times that something isn’t allowing you to come back to what you love most and you’re unable to do your profession for years.”

On Andy Murray‘s withdrawal from singles, Djokovic added: “Andy Murray withdrawing is a great blow to the tournament. Great respect to him. All he’s done in this tournament, in this sport.

“I hope he’ll be able to finish his career on his terms. I heard he’s going to play doubles. Hopefully he’ll give it another shot next year in singles. I just send him my best. It’s worth acknowledging all these athletes that are struggling.”

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