Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon 2022

Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon rivals named by former British No.1

Novak Djokovic has won the last four Wimbledon Gentlemen’s singles titles and former British No.1 Andrew Castle has given advice to the Serb’s rivals who are challenging him at SW19 this year.

Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios in the 2022 final to lift his seventh Wimbledon title, and will bid to equal Roger Federer’s record this year and become the first men’s 24-time singles major champion.

The last time Djokovic lost at Wimbledon was in 2017, when he retired in his quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych with an elbow injury that he ended up having surgery on.

Djokovic’s last defeat at The Championships not by retirement was to big server Sam Querrey in 2016, who hit 31 aces to end the Serb’s 30-match winning streak at Grand Slam tournaments.

Castle has suggested that players need to take inspiration from Querrey’s performance this year, “I think somebody needs to serve him off-court and catch him by surprise because otherwise I’ve no idea how anybody can walk out on Centre Court and think they’re going to beat Novak over five sets. They’re not going to beat him for conditioning. So they’ve got to whack him off-court.”

The 59-year-old has also spoken about potential contenders for the Wimbledon crown, and started off with the top two American ATP players, “And looking at the ranking list, you’ve got people like Taylor Fritz, who’s a top 10 player. You know, [Frances] Tiafoe has the court coverage to worry him for a set or two. Another American.”

“You know, somebody like a Taylor Fritz who only lost to Nadal last year, 7-6 in the fifth, in probably the best match of the Championship, which also denied us a semi-final because Nadal couldn’t take his place in that semi-final. God, it was so Nadal-Djokovic last year.”

Castle then moved onto Daniil Medvedev, who has never made it past the fourth round of Wimbledon, “So, you know, you look at the top 10 of the rankings, people like Daniil Medvedev, you know, back at Wimbledon next year, and you wonder to yourself… can he win on a grass court? Does he have the movement for that? He’s a magnificent mover. But if you give so much space away, Novak’s going to outmanoeuvre you.”

The 1987 Australian Open mixed doubles finalist then looked to the next generation to challenge Djokovic, but did not mention No.2 Carlos Alcaraz.

“So, Holger Rune, the Danish player, is somebody to watch whether he makes the transition to a grass court and is comfortable doing it. I don’t know,” said Castle. “But you see, these guys, I don’t see them as grass-court players. And nowadays there’s only one season which only lasts four or five weeks.”

Castle claims that he doesn’t see any of these players as ‘huge threats’ to Djokovic, but also threw Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won his first grass court title last year, into the mix.

“So I don’t see them as particularly huge threats to him [Djokovic]. They can all play magnificent tennis, we know that, but on that particular surface against a man who’s won it seven times? I don’t know,” claimed the former No.80. “I still look at Tsitsipas as somebody that should do great on grass. Listen, let’s be honest, Novak’s to the man to beat. That’s not news.”

Djokovic is not playing any warm-up events before Wimbledon that begins on the 3rd July, as he hasn’t since 2018 when he lost in the final of Queen’s to Marin Cilic.

Novak Djokovic and his dominance at Wimbledon

Djokovic is bidding to make more history at Wimbledon this year and equal Federer, so we at Tennishead wanted to look back on his dominance at SW19 over the years:

Novak Djokovic win-loss record at Wimbledon: 86-10 (90%)

The Serb’s seven final victories:

  1. Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal, 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 (2011)
  2. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 6(7)-7 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4 (2014)
  3. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 7-6(1) 6(10)-7 6-4 6-3 (2015)
  4. Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson, 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) (2018)
  5. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 7-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12(3) (2019)
  6. Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini, 6(4)-7 6-4 6-4 6-3 (2021)
  7. Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios, 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) (2022)

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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.