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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Wimbledon 2024: Djokovic ‘unlikely’ to be fully fit, says surgeon

The surgeon who operated on Novak Djokovic’s knee following the dethroned champion’s withdrawal from the French Open has cast further doubt on the 25-time Grand Slam winner’s chances of competing at Wimbledon 2024 in three weeks’ time.

Antoine Gerometta said Djokovic had suffered a “chronic” injury to his right meniscus during his five-set quarter-final win over Francisco Cerundolo, adding that “99% of people” would have required emergency treatment even if they had taken a maximum dose of painkillers, while the 37-year-old continued to play.

“We can always dream and say that it will go very quickly,” Gerometta told L’Equipe, assessing Djokovic’s recovery timescale.

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“I was very transparent in saying that it would depend on the reaction of his knee. By gradually increasing the load, we will see if it remains dry, without swelling or pain.

“There will be a day-to-day evolution but it is impossible to predict what state he will be in in a week, two weeks and so on. That it will be 100% within three weeks still seems unlikely.”

Djokovic Wimbledon chances being ‘monitored’

Seven-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic had won four titles in a row before his defeat in the final to Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Jannik Sinner in this year’s French Open final, in 2023.

“He will clearly give himself the means to recover as quickly as possible but everything will be supervised and monitored,” said Gerometta, adding that he had spent 45 minutes with Djokovic, the player’s staff and Vincent Guillard, the French Tennis Federation doctor.

“Given the injury, what he did is extraordinary. 99% of people would have been in the emergency room with a locked knee. It’s a mechanical blockage, and the reality is that there is only surgery to repair it.”

 

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Djokovic ‘exceptional’

Gerometta described Djokovic as an “exceptional person”. “The feeling with Novak, who I found very intelligent and composed, went very well,” he said.

“The discussions were fluid from the moment I explained to him the nature of the operation.

“He was very pleasant and friendly with everyone. From the operating room staff to the nursing assistants, including the physiotherapist who got him up and walking again, each person who participated in his care will have a signed souvenir from him, which I find quite classy.”

Djokovic is also hoping to return to Roland Garros for the 2024 Olympic Games tennis tournament, which begins on July 27.

The modern great is thought to see an Olympic gold medal as one of the few remaining honours he is yet to win in the sport.

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