Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2022

Novak Djokovic admits latest injury is ‘not in an ideal shape’

Novak Djokovic has revealed that his elbow is not how he would like it to be, as he prepares to win a maiden ATP event that has been organised by his family.

Djokovic returned to the ATP tour last week in Monte Carlo, where he lost in the third round to Lorenzo Musetti and had a strap on his right elbow that he had surgery on in 2018.

The Serb’s elbow has spoken to press about how he is feeling ahead of his first match in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Naturally, I wasn’t satisfied with the result in Monte Carlo. But ever since I landed, I’ve felt welcomed in Banja Luka, a lot of positive energy and positive emotions.”

He continued, “My elbow is not in an ideal shape but good enough to be ready for the first match. One of the good things in tennis is that you get a new opportunity to prove your worth every week and take a step forward. I’ve turned over a new leaf.”

The Banja Luka Open makes its first appearance on the main tour this year, as a replacement for Djokovic’s home tournament in Belgrade that is being refurbished to be upgraded to an ATP 500 event.

The tournament director of the event is Djokovic’s younger brother, Djordje Djokovic, and Novak has spoken of his excitement for the event to start.

“The people welcome me wholeheartedly with great reception and so much love and support. So I’m super excited to be here because I think it’s one of the best places for us Serbian tennis players and athletes in general to be able to perform where we have so much love and support from local people,” the 22-time Grand Slam champion explained.

Djokovic will play Luca van Assche in the second round, who beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in his opening match.

The Australian Open champion seemed surprised by this result, “I don’t know much about the young French player. I thought [Stan] Wawrinka would win the match. I saw [Van Assche] play but not for long, he is a real fighter, fast, it’s difficult to get past him.”

Novak Djokovic path to the Banja Luka Open title

Djokovic has won two titles this year, both coming in Australia, and the No.1 will be hoping to add a third when he competes in Bosnia this week.

Here is his potential route to the title based on ranking:

First Round – Received a bye

Second Round – Luca van Assche

Quarter-final – Gregoire Barrere (8)

Semi-final – Miomir Kecmanovic (4)

Final – Andrey Rublev (2)

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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.