‘You can’t fake it’ – Former world number one offers explanation for Novak Djokovic ‘physical collapse’
Andy Roddick has tempered concerns that Novak Djokovic is below his fitness best after his early Monte Carlo exit at the hands of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
The world number one was playing just his second event of 2022 and said after the loss that he “physically collapsed” and struggled to move by the end of the battle.
While it is obvious that Djokovic is short of matches this season, Roddick gave a more nuanced view of the situation.
Roddick explained on Tennis Channel: “You can’t fake tournament reps.
“You can play five hours in practice but when you get the adrenaline and the nerves [in a match], it’s its own kind of exhaust mechanism.
“[Djokovic] is very short on matches since the US Open last year.”
The 20-time Slam champion only played four events since the US Open last September ahead of Monte Carlo, playing just 15 matches over the course of seven months.
As such, Roddick went on to suggest that Djokovic may adjust his preparation for his Roland Garros title defence come late May.
He added: “[Too beat Davidovich Fokina] was a big ask and what Novak was hoping to do was turn it around, get through, survive this match and then find his game later on.
“Expect him to maybe sneak in another tournament or two, play a little bit of a heavier schedule until he finds his footing.
“Obviously, with the goal being Roland Garros.”
Sources suggest Djokovic is planning to play the Serbia Open and the Madrid and Rome Masters ahead of Roland Garros.
However, he could bulk his schedule at any of the four ATP 250 events that occupy the calendar before Paris.
Those tournaments are the BMW Open in Munich and the Estoril Open, both starting 25th April, and the Geneva Open and Lyon Open, both beginning 15th May, the week before Roland Garros kicks off on 22nd May.
Photo credit Ray Giubilo
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