Roger Federer gives his verdict on Novak Djokovic’s injury comeback at Wimbledon

Ewan West
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer has described Novak Djokovic as “amazing” after he recovered from surgery to play at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships. 

The Swiss feels it has been an “incredible effort” from his former rival and fellow tennis great to “already be playing” so soon after his recent injury setback.

Djokovic tore the medial meniscus in his right knee during his five-set victory against Francisco Cerundolo in the fourth round at Roland Garros last month.

The 37-year-old had a meniscus operation less than a month before the start of Wimbledon, but remarkably managed to return to fitness in time to compete at the All England Club.

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The Serbian icon can tie Federer‘s Open Era men’s singles record of eight Wimbledon titles if he triumphs at the grass-court Grand Slam. Djokovic is also looking to claim a record-extending 25th Grand Slam crown overall.

The world No 2 will face 15th seed Holger Rune in the fourth round on Centre Court today, and would then meet ninth-ranked Alex de Minaur if he reaches the quarter-finals.

In an interview with ESPN during Wimbledon, Federer expressed his amazement at Djokovic’s swift recovery.

“Novak’s amazing, how he’s bounced back,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner and former world No 1.

“I haven’t talked about it before, but incredible effort for him after the surgery, after Paris, to come back and already be playing. I don’t know he’s feeling, but it will be very interesting how he bounces back.”

Last month, former world No 9 Nicolas Almagro urged Djokovic to be cautious as he explained that a meniscus injury contributed to his retirement, and also highlighted the fact a similar injury effectively ended Federer’s career.

“I think the difference is that I broke it and that he has a tear, but even so he has to be very careful because it seems like a simple injury but it is not,” the 13-time ATP titlist said.

“I wouldn’t say I retired because of the injury, but after the injury. That helped, of course, but it’s true that I gained more weight, my knee began to suffer and priorities changed.”

The Spaniard added: “Look, Roger, he had a similar injury and he had knee surgery, it was going to last a month and in the end he retired. It’s apparently simple, but you have to be careful so that things don’t get complicated.”

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