Wimbledon star raises Novak Djokovic suspicions after footage released | Tennis | Sport

Tennis star Taylor Fritz has given Novak Djokovic an encouraging forecast about his chances of being fit in time for Wimbledon. It remains uncertain as to whether the seven-time champion will feature at SW19 after a serious knee injury at the French Open, but Fritz suspects he will be able to compete having been in his shoes before.

Djokovic reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros but was forced to withdraw due to a torn meniscus. However, the 37-year-old has given his fans hope he’ll play in the grass major after posting footage of him training and striking on the court.

Fritz, 26, was in an almost identical predicament prior to Wimbledon 2021 when he suffered a torn meniscus of his own on the French Open tour. However, like Djokovic, he immediately underwent surgery and was back in action at the London Grand Slam, where he advanced to the third round before losing to Alexander Zverev.

The American revealed earlier this month that Djokovic had already reached out to him for advice on the setback given Fritz had been through the same ordeal. And while the tennis community was stunned by Nole’s progress in his recovery, Fritz wasn’t one of them.

“You have full strength immediately. You never lost full strength,” he said during a recent appearance on the Tennis Weekly podcast. “It’s just about recovering from the actual surgery itself, not any muscular thing. So I’m not surprised. I believe he got in to do surgery before…

“I think his recovery time, I think he has more time than I had, actually. I know for a fact my first match at Wimbledon was exactly 20 days after my surgery. So I played a little less than three weeks after my surgery. Basically three weeks. I think I saw something saying, he’s on, like, I think like 19 or 18 or 20 [days] right about now, so he’s gonna have a whole extra week than I did.”

Fritz reiterated that it’s “definitely not surprising” Djokovic is able to lightly strike the ball, as seen on social media this week. And it could spell bad news for anyone else with their eye on the men’s title at SW19.

One key contrast between the two situations that’s worth highlighting is the considerable age difference. Fritz was just 23 when he managed a miraculous recovery, while the 37-year-old body of Djokovic – which has significantly more miles on the clock – should, in theory, find it that much more difficult to heal.

The Serb already boasts a men’s record 24 major titles but is yet to win a Grand Slam honour thus far in 2024. That’s after adding three to his collection last year, having not failed to win one of the Big Four in any calendar year since 2017.

Fritz will be among those targeting the big prize in England, though he’s yet to advance beyond the last eight at any major tournament. The California native reached the quarter-finals of this year’s Australian Open to mimic his last-eight finish at Wimbledon 2022.

Rafael Nadal has already confirmed he won’t be competing at Wimbledon to focus on the Paris 2024 Olympics. However, the same can’t be said for old rival Djokovic as he nears a comeback in time for the tournament’s first service on Monday (July 1).

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