The first half of 2022 was for Novak Djokovic, numbers in hand, one of the worst starts to the season in the Serbian tennis player’s career. It is unusual, given the results of recent years, to meet in June the 20-time Grand Slam champion with only one title in the season, the Masters 1000 won on clay in Rome. The beginning of the year for Djokovic was certainly conditioned by the turbulent events that took place in Australia after his decision not to get vaccinated, problems that later had consequences in his preparation and in the programming of the rest of the season, with the number one in the world only taking to the court for the first time for an official match at the end of February at the ATP 500 in Dubai. The last disappointment of this difficult year for the Serbian was the defeat in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros against Rafa Nadal, who ended up winning his fourteenth title in Paris and moving away from Djokovic in the ranking of tennis players who have won the most Slams, which now The Spaniard leads with 22, while the Serbian and Roger Federer stand at 20. Djokovic has a 16-5 record this year and will come to Wimbledon with a huge responsibility as it is a golden opportunity to get closer to a Slam from Nadal, who has already won six titles on English grass in his career. The Serb, according to the Serbian website Sportklub, has made the decision to rest in Montenegro and not participate in any grass-court preparation tournaments, but instead will hit the court directly on the grass in London at the end of June. However, this is not a totally unexpected choice on the part of the Serb, who has already managed to triumph at Wimbledon without participating in any preparation tournament on five occasions in the past.
Flink talks about Novak Djokovic
Journalist and tennis historian, Steve Flink was recently the guest of the Gill Gross podcast on Youtube. A discussion of about an hour during which the American specialist returned to the quarter-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros. “It was almost a reversal of behavior this time around. Last year, Novak was really having fun on the court. There were times when he smiled and there was positive energy in him. Nadal was a little worried. This time I thought Djokovic seemed a bit negative, irritated by the crowd, while Rafa was great. I had a feeling that if we could have made it to the fifth set, maybe both players would have really taken it up a notch and we could have had a spectacular battle. But that didn’t happen as Djokovic failed to finish when he had the chance.”