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Will Novak Djokovic play at Wimbledon?

Novak Djokovic is in a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon next month after being forced out of the French Open in Paris.

The Serb has recently undergone an operation since injuring his knee against Francisco Cerundolo at the French Open and his surgeon has cast serious doubt on the 24-time Grand Slam winner being ready for SW19, which starts on 1st July.

Djokovic, who is now 37, will be desperate to make the summer highlight at Wimbledon, where he won the last of his seven titles in 2022, but all the signs are that the ace is struggling to make it.

Surgeon cautious over recovery

The surgeon who operated on the joint, Antoana Geromete, says the recovery from the operation, which was necessary after he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee in the fourth-round win over Cerundolo in Paris, will take time.

Geromete was keen to point out how Djokovic's knee reacts will be key to how quickly he can get back on court.

However, due to the severity of the injury, even if the star does manage to get himself back in action, it seems unlikely he will be able to perform at his best in London.

Geromete told L'Equipe: "Everything will depend on the reaction of his knee. By gradually increasing the load, we will see if it remains 'dry' and without swelling or pain."

He added: "It will be progress from day to day, but it is impossible to predict the state in which it will be in a week, two and so on. But to be at 100% in three weeks, it really seems difficult to achieve."

Race against time

Those words cast serious doubt over Djokovic's ability to be in top shape for Wimbledon, although it is expected the world number three will do all he can to be ready for the Grand Slam, even though time seems to be against him.

Djokovic is rated as 7/2 to win Wimbledon this year, behind Alcaraz at 11/8 and Sinner at 13/8, while Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev are available at 16/1, just ahead of Rafael Nadal at 20/1.

Despite his advancing years, Djokovic has shown few signs of slowing down and impressively won three of the four majors last year, only missing out on Wimbledon when losing to Alcaraz in a five-set epic. 

New rivals step up

This latest injury setback may begin to pose questions, though, over the star’s ability to remain at the top of the men’s game and continue to compete with the rising forces like Alvarez and Jannik Sinner, who are both currently above him in the world rankings.

Djokovic has surprisingly failed to win a title this year, and was beaten in the semi-finals of the Australian Open by Sinner in four sets, before being forced to pull out of his last-eight clash at the French Open against Casper Ruud due to injury.

How well he recovers from the knee injury will then determine how the rest of the year pans out for Djokovic, who will want to be in the best shape possible for the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, which is due to get underway on 26th August.

US Open on horizon too

The Serb is the defending champion in New York and is 13/8 to win the US Open again this year. Alcaraz is also 13/8, Sinner is 9/4, with Medvedev 7/1, Nadal 14/1 and Zverev 16/1

Providing he is fit, Djokovic will be chasing his fifth title at Flushing Meadows and if he returns to his best form, he will obviously be the main player in the draw which the rest of the field will fear.

However, in the short-term, getting back in shape for Wimbledon will be his priority.

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