Novak Djokovic warned his Wimbledon comeback is ‘dangerous’ and leaves former No 1 in disbelief

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic looks on ahead of Wimbledon in 2024
Novak Djokovic looks on at Wimbledon in 2024

Former doubles world No 1 Rennae Stubbs “cannot believe” Novak Djokovic will play at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships after his recent meniscus surgery.

Stubbs, a former coach of tennis great Serena Williams, warned grass is “a dangerous surface to play early on” due to its slippery and slick nature.

Djokovic‘s recovery to compete at Wimbledon so soon after tearing his meniscus at the 2024 French Open has surprised many figures in the tennis world.

The Serbian icon suffered the meniscus injury by slipping on the court in the second set of his five-set last 16 triumph against Francisco Cerundolo at Roland Garros on June 3.

The 37-year-old had an operation on his right knee shortly after he withdrew from the French Open before his quarter-final match against Casper Ruud.

Djokovic, who is currently ranked second in the world, will begin his Wimbledon campaign against Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva on Tuesday.

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The 24-time Grand Slam champion can tie Roger Federer‘s record of eight Wimbledon men’s singles crowns with victory this year.

In a discussion with former world No 11 Sam Querrey on NBC Sports, Stubbs expressed her surprise at Djokovic’s presence in the Wimbledon draw.

“I cannot believe [that Djokovic is playing Wimbledon],” said the Australian. “I’ve had two meniscus surgeries and I can tell you, six weeks was the minimum before I came back, and I still think that was too early for me.

“I cannot imagine having surgery on my knee and the first tournament I play is slippery grass, because you know the first day, you know Sam, you make one wrong step and bang, your knee goes down.

“We’ve seen it over and over and over. We saw it with [Marketa] Vondrousova last week, like, it’s a dangerous surface to play early on because it’s so slick. So, I cannot believe that he’s actually in the draw.”

Following his victory against Daniil Medvedev in an exhibition match in Hurlingham last week, Djokovic was asked about his fitness.

“I can tell you that I enjoyed myself really, really much today,” said the tennis legend.

“I can tell you that pain-free tennis is the best tennis. I was pain-free and I’m really glad. It was a great test obviously against one of the best players in the world.

“I’ve played a couple of practice sets but I really wanted to test myself. The test was very successful so I’m obviously really glad. It’s been an intense three weeks after surgery, spending a lot of hours rehabbing.

“I kind of always wanted to give myself a chance to be in London. I think my surgeon is here. He’s the MVP for sure in the last three weeks. I’m trying to take it day by day and see how far it goes.”

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