June 12, 2024

Open Court


WIMBLEDON – Novak Djokovic has won Wimbledon six times – including the last three times it was played.

So it’s not a shock that he’s the overwhelming favorite to win it in 2022.

And even if he hasn’t dominated since starting his 2022 season late, you would expect him to win it again.

He said the first match he ever saw on television was Pete Sampras winning Wimbledon. Sampras has won it seven times – a number Djokovic could match in 2022.

The irony, of course, is that if he does, there will be no ranking points for what would be his 21st Grand Slam title.

And that means that after the tournament is over, however it shakes out, he will drop to No. 7 in the world because the 2,000 points from his win in 2021 will drop off.

Here’s what he had to say in his pre-tournament press conference.

Djokovic was very good (as he usually is) in handling the various topics thrown at him – not the least of which is the ying-yang between Wimbledon and the Russian and Belarussian players, who are not allowed to compete this fortnight.

First up is Soonwoo Kwon

Djokovic got a pretty good draw, with the threat of two massive servers (Reilly Opelka and John Isner) in his quarter.

Then again, he’s the best returner on the planet.

Djokovic is 10-2 vs. Isner, whom he’s never played on clay. The American hasn’t beaten him since 2013 – and those two wins both came on American soil.

He has never faced Opelka, who was one-and-done at Queen’s Club in his only grass-court tuneup match, and has won back-to-back matches at Wimbledon only once.

Practicing on Court 4

Djokovic hit Court 4 for a practice with Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic Saturday, with only a few AELTC club members – and friends of members – around to watch.

Also watching was David Kotyza, the coach of Karolina Muchova, who was watching countryman Lehecka.

It was pretty funny that Lehecka’s on-court entourage was actually bigger than that of Djokovic.

Here’s what it looked like, as Djokovic came to the net a fair bit.

Afterwards, he just walked off the court by himself, and had perhaps a dozen people politely come up and ask for selfies.

So civilized, the Brits.

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