Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon injury recovery sparks ‘double standards’ claim from respected pundit

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic on court at Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic in action at Wimbledon

Tennis analyst Mark Petchey believes the reaction to Novak Djokovic’s recovery from injury to play at Wimbledon highlights “wild” double standards in tennis.

The former British No 1 feels everyone is “losing their mind” over Djokovic’s swift return, while claiming “we heard crickets” when Taylor Fritz did the same thing three years go.

Djokovic is set to compete at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships after tearing the meniscus in his right knee at the French Open less than four weeks ago.

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The 37-year-old was forced to withdraw from his quarter-final match against Casper Ruud at Roland Garros and swiftly had an operation.  The Serbian was widely expected to miss Wimbledon due to his injury and has surprised many with his recovery.

In 2021, Fritz suffered a meniscus tear during a four-set loss to Dominik Koepfer at Roland Garros and he returned to action in time to play at Wimbledon after undergoing surgery. The American reached the third round at the All England Club.

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Djokovic will face world No 123 Vit Kopriva in the opening round at Wimbledon on Tuesday as he begins his quest for a record-equalling eighth title.

In a post on X / Twitter, Petchey called out the different reactions to Djokovic and Fritz’s respective recoveries from the same injury.

“Fritz made Wimbledon in 2021 after Roland Garros with the same issues Novak had and we heard crickets,” Petchey wrote.

“It did show us one thing, though, just how much Taylor Fritz unconditionally loves tennis.

“Novak Djokovic makes it [to Wimbledon] and everyone [is] losing their mind. The double standards are wild at times in this sport.”

In an interview with Tennis365 during the Queen’s Club Championships, Fritz revealed Djokovic contacted him to discuss his injury.

“I told him what it was like for me. A lot of it comes down to the inflammation and how you react,” explained the world No 13.

“It’s possible for Novak to play. It’s the exact same thing that I had and I played. Obviously, I wasn’t contending to win a title, I was just showing up to hopefully win a couple of rounds – but it is possible.”

The American added: “If Novak goes to Wimbledon he wants to be there to win. Playing a whole tournament is different than me at the time going there.

“I was going to be a low seed anyway (31). Winning a couple of rounds was a solid result for me.”

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