Djokovic will only play at Wimbledon if he can 'fight for title'

Agence France-Presse
Djokovic will only play at Wimbledon if he can 'fight for title'
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning against Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena at the end of their men's singles match on Court Philippe-Chatrier on day five of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on May 30, 2024.
Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP

LONDON – Novak Djokovic says he will only play at Wimbledon if he is fit enough to "fight for the title", adding that his recovery from knee surgery is going well.

The seven-time champion at the All England Club was forced to withdraw ahead of his French Open quarterfinal against Casper Ruud earlier this month after tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee.

Djokovic’s chances of competing at Wimbledon, which starts on July 1, initially looked bleak but the former World No. 1 has made rapid progress and had a two-hour training session at Wimbledon's Aorangi Park on Monday.

The 37-year-old Serbian World No. 2 says he will make a decision before Friday's draw.

"I didn't come here to play a few rounds," he told the BBC. "If I know I can play close to my maximum or at maximum, then I'll play. If not, then I'll give somebody else a chance to play.

"I really will only play if I know I am in a state which is good enough to go far in the tournament and fight for the title, so that's the condition.

"Rehab is going in the right direction every single day, a few percent better and better. That's what's giving me hope and encouragement to keep going.

"I'm taking things gradually. I'm not pushing myself yet 100% but I'm hoping that's going to come in the next few days."

Djokovic, who has won 24 Grand Slams, has reached the Wimbledon final for the past five years, losing a thrilling five-setter last year to Carlos Alcaraz.

He will attempt to win an elusive Olympic gold medal at the Paris Games, which start on July 26.

Djokovic's longtime rival Andy Murray is also in a race to be fit for Wimbledon after undergoing back surgery last week while Rafael Nadal is missing the tournament to focus on the Olympics.

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