Novak Djokovic will play Wimbledon only if he feels he can “fight for the title” | Tennis news

Novak Djokovic has said he will play at Wimbledon only if he feels he can “fight for the title” as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

The record 24-time Grand Slam champion and seven-time Wimbledon winner tore the medial meniscus in his right knee at the French Open, bowing out of the quarterfinals before undergoing surgery on June 6.

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Annabel Croft assesses what Djokovic’s withdrawal from the French Open could mean for the rest of her season

The 37-year-old is yet to fully confirm his return to action for the third Slam of the season, but arrived at the All England Club on Sunday and trained on court on Monday.

“I didn’t come here to play a few rounds,” Djokovic told the BBC. “If I know I can play close to my maximum or at my maximum, then I will play. If not, I’ll give someone else a chance to play.

“Rehabilitation is going in the right direction every day, an increasingly better percentage. That’s what gives me hope and encouragement to move forward.

“I’m taking things little by little. I’m not putting in 100 percent effort yet, but I hope that will happen in the next few days.”

He added: “I’ll only really play if I know I’m in a good enough state to go far in the tournament and fight for the title, so that’s the condition.”

Wimbledon will be held from July 1 to 14 and the draw for the men’s and women’s singles will be held on Friday, June 28.

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates with the trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic to win the men's singles final on day fourteen of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, July 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Carlos Alcaraz won the second of his three Grand Slam titles by defeating Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final.

If he plays, it would be Djokovic’s 19th appearance at Wimbledon, with the world No. 2 looking to end his title drought in 2024.

The Serbian won three of four Grand Slams last year, with his only loss coming in the SW19 final, where he was beaten in five sets by Carlos Alcaraz.

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