Source: Djokovic to have surgery on knee injury

Novak Djokovic to have surgery; Wimbledon doubtful – source


Why Wilbon is saddened by Djokovic’s French Open withdrawal (2:56)

Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser break down the future of men’s tennis after Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the French Open. (2:56)

  • Tom Hamilton, Senior WriterJun 5, 2024, 05:56 AM ET


      • Joined ESPN in 2011
      • Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours
      • Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018

Novak Djokovic will undergo surgery on his torn meniscus in Paris on Wednesday, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports, which will put his status for Wimbledon in doubt.

Djokovic tore the meniscus in his right knee during his fourth-round match against Francisco Cerundolo. He played on through the pain and won in five sets but was left unsure of the damage done to his knee.

He underwent an MRI in Paris on Tuesday that confirmed the meniscus tear, causing the 24-time Grand Slam winner to withdraw from the tournament.

The injury requires surgery, and the timeframe of recovery means Djokovic faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon, which begins July 1. The likelihood is that Djokovic will skip the grass-court swing to focus on playing at the Paris Olympics; the Olympic tennis tournament is set to begin July 27.

Djokovic has won Wimbledon seven times and reached last year’s final, where he lost to Carlos Alcaraz. But Olympic gold still eludes him. His best finish was a bronze medal at Beijing in 2008, and he said earlier this year that Paris 2024 was the “priority” for him.

“It’s all about building my game for clay courts,” Djokovic said in April. “I want to reach my peak for Paris. That’s where I want to play my best tennis. Anything else is a bonus, so let’s see what happens.”

That’s also the case for Rafael Nadal, who lost in the first round of the French Open to Alexander Zverev. Nadal said after that defeat that he is likely to stay on clay through to Paris, rather than switching to grass, leaving the possibility of neither Djokovic nor Nadal being at Wimbledon this year.

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