NOVAK DJOKOVIC MAKES WIMBLEDON DECLARATION AFTER TWO-HOUR PRACTICE AT SW19

Novak Djokovic has declared he will only enter his "favourite tournament" Wimbledon if he thinks he can win a record 25th Grand Slam singles title.

And after a second session testing out his knee at the All England Club yesterday (Monday), the Serbian superstar said: "I like my trajectory so far."

The seven-time Wimbledon champion only underwent surgery on torn medial meniscus in his right knee on June 5 after pulling out of the French Open. Skipping the grasscourt and focussing on a final bid to win Olympic gold next month seemed the safe choice.

But Djokovic never does things conventionally and he arrived in London for a first test on the grass on Sunday.

And he spent two-and-a-half hours back on the practice courts at Aorangi Park on Monday where he hit with Argentine world No.71 Federico Coria. They played two tiebreaks at the end and won one each.

Djokovic did not play at 100% but the 24-time Major champion, who wore a grey support on his right knee, was happy with his progress only 19 days after going under the knife.

But like his old friend and adversary Andy Murray, he is also in a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon on July 1.

"It's great to be back," Djokovic said. "The plan all along was to try to play Wimbledon so that's what I'm trying to do. That's why I came here earlier and to see how it goes. Many people think it's maybe not realistic or maybe not smart.

"But I wouldn't be here if I didn't get permission from the medical team. They are very happy with the way everything is going so I'm taking things gradually. I'm not pushing myself yet 100% but I'm hoping that's going to come within the next few days.

"The rehab has been going in the right direction every single day. I'm going to take it day by day and then make a decision based over the next four or five, six days and if I know that I can play close to my maximum or at maximum, then I'll play if not, then give somebody else a chance to play."

Djokovic is also running out of time to win one more Grand Slam to break the singles record he shares with Margaret Court. He won three Majors last year and lost the Wimbledon final but he has yet to win a title on the ATP Tour this season.

Asked if he will only be in the singles competition if he thinks he can win, the world No.2 said: "Of course, I mean, that's why I'm here. I didn't come here to play a few rounds. I still don't plan to retire and have my last Wimbledon this year."

The draw will be made at 10am on Friday. Pulling out before then would allow world No.3 Carlos Alcaraz to be seeded No.2 and avoid a meeting with world No.1 Jannick Sinner until the final.

"I might need a day or two more but I'm going to give my best to make a decision before the draw so I can be fair towards the other players but I don't know how it's gonna go," he warned. "Obviously, it's unpredictable. It's also unpredictable what's going to happen once the tournament starts for me, hopefully. But you know, I like my trajectory so far."

Asked about his fellow 37-year-old Murray, Djokovic said: "I really hope he plays. I hope for his sake and also for Wimbledon. We all know what Andy Murray has done here and what he means for this country, this city and this tournament.

"It might be his last so I'm sure he's going to give his best. Wimbledon has always been my favourite tournament. A dream tournament that I always wanted to win so I understand it's probably the same for Andy."

2024-06-24T17:01:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd