Novak Djokovic sends message to Wimbledon rivals as he reveals mentality after injury

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic laughing during training
Novak Djokovic training at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has sent a warning to his rivals ahead of his return from injury at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships as he asserted his intention to “go all in.”

The tennis icon insisted he has no plans to hold back or be “a bit more cautious in the movement” in what will be his first tournament since tearing his meniscus.

Djokovic will face world No 123 Vit Kopriva, who won three matches to qualify, in the opening round at Wimbledon on Tuesday. It will be his first encounter against the 27-year-old Czech.

The Serbian is seeking a record-extending 25th Grand Slam crown and record-equalling eighth triumph at Wimbledon, where Roger Federer holds the men’s singles title record.

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The 37-year-old suffered a meniscus tear during his fourth round win against Francisco Cerundolo at the 2024 French Open at the start of June.

Djokovic underwent surgery on his right knee less than a month ago, but he has made a swift recovery in time for the grass-court Grand Slam.

Speaking in his pre-tournament press conference at Wimbledon, Djokovic played down suggestions he would have to be cautious with his movement to protect his knee.

“Once I step out on the court it’s all about winning that match and doing everything possible to win the match,” proclaimed the 24-time Grand Slam winner.

“I don’t see myself holding back. I don’t see myself calculating or being a bit more cautious in the movement. I don’t see that happening. I go all in.

“That’s the way I’ve been playing my entire career so. If I didn’t have the feeling that I can do that, I wouldn’t be speaking to you guys.

“I wouldn’t be in the draw. All the days I’ve been here only give me positive signs and encourage me that I can do it.”

Djokovic also suggested that competing at Wimbledon was worth the potential risk as he addressed the fact the Paris Olympics begin later this month.

“It’s probably less of a rational and logical explanation, but more of that inner feeling and sensation of really great desire to play Wimbledon. Any Grand Slam, but particularly Wimbledon for me,” the world No 2 added.

“I know that the Olympics are right after that on a completely different surface. I know all of that. But I’m thinking about Wimbledon. It’s a dream tournament. I needed to focus all my attention on that.

“We put a huge amount of hours in the last three weeks on a daily basis into rehab, into exercises, basically raising the level of intensity of training and rehab every single day, of course being very cautious of the knee and the reactions.

“I haven’t had any setback. If I had one setback, I would be then questioning whether I should be here or not. But I haven’t had a single one. Why not give it a shot?”

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