Novak Djokovic serves at Wimbledon 2023

Novak Djokovic admits he ‘would not have risked’ knee for any tournament other than Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has returned to the matchcourt for the first time since undergoing knee surgery, with the seven-time Wimbledon champion revealing that he tried not to think too much about the previous injury.

Djokovic beat qualifier Vit Kopriva, 6-1 6-2 6-2, just over three weeks since having surgery on a meniscus tear in his right knee.

When speaking in the interview on Centre Court, Djokovic spoke about the different build-up he has had to Wimbledon this year, “Obviously, coming into Wimbledon for me this year was very different because of the knee. I’m just really glad with how I played and how I felt on the court.”

The Serbian continued, “I didn’t know how everything was going to unfold on the court. I’m extremely glad with the way I felt and the way I played today. Thank you all for coming out and supporting.

“I tried to really focus on the game and not think about the knee too much. Everything that I could do, I have done over the last three weeks along with my team to be able to play here for you today.”

Djokovic also confessed that he would probably not have played any other tournament in the circumstances, “I think if it was for any other tournament I probably would not have risked it, would not have rushed as much but I just love Wimbledon, love coming back here.

“I want to thank my surgeon again for doing a great job. Things would be a bit complicated [without successful surgery] to be able to play on the highest level and avoid major injuries has been good. I’ve been fortunate to not be away from tennis for so long.”

Djokovic will look to continue his bid for a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon title on Thursday, when he takes on British wildcard Jacob Fearnley in the second round.

Inside the baseline…

Novak Djokovic’s comeback has been miraculous, as many had just assumed that he would be missing Wimbledon as soon as he announced the surgery. Not only is it incredible for Novak Djokovic to be playing at Wimbledon, but the 24-time major winner was also looking great and with his draw could really work himself into title contending form.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.