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Novak Djokovic says his knee feels good and he wants to ‘go for the title’ at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic says his knee feels good and he wants to ‘go for the title’ at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England – Novak Djokovic says his right knee has responded well after surgery to repair a torn meniscus less than a month ago, and he considers himself ready to compete at Wimbledon, where he has won seven of his 24 Grand Slam won trophies.

Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference on Saturday, Djokovic said that while he was “very doubtful” he would make it to the All England Club after being injured at the French Open on June 3, he is much more optimistic after a week of football. training at the turf major’s site starting Monday.

His first round match against qualifier Vit Kopriva is scheduled for Tuesday.

“I didn’t come here to play a few rounds and prove to myself and others that I can actually compete in one or two matches. I really want to go for the title,” said Djokovic, who is seeded second behind Jannik Sinner and finished runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon last year. “The last three days have given me enough optimism and good signals that hopefully in the coming weeks I will actually be able to compete at the highest level.”

The 37-year-old Serbian player was injured during a five-set victory over Francisco Cerundulo in the fourth round of Roland Garros. He withdrew before playing in the quarterfinals and underwent surgery on June 5 in Paris.

After wearing a gray sleeve on his right leg during practice sets at the All England Club with players including Australian Open champion Sinner, 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev and Frances Tiafoe, Djokovic said there have been no setbacks and that he is “confident has in the health of my knee.”

Djokovic said he had had “extensive conversations” with other athletes who have recovered from similar knee surgeries, including tennis players Taylor Fritz and Stan Wawrinka and retired Olympic champion skier Lindsey Vonn.

In 2021, Fritz injured his knee at the French Open and returned to competition three weeks later at Wimbledon.

Alcaraz said he thought Djokovic was superhuman because he bounced back so quickly.

When Djokovic heard that comment, he grinned.

“Well, not really. I think Taylor Fritz is a super human. He recovered in 21 days; I (had) a bit more (time),” Djokovic said.

‘It may not be ideal in the eyes of the doctors and specialists who would normally tell you it is normally between three and six weeks. The closer to six weeks the better probably, because you don’t want to take too much risk and you want to give your knee and your body time,” he said. “But it is also individual. It’s very subjective. Everyone responds differently to recovery, to the injury, to rehabilitation, to exercises.”

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis