Novak Djokovic confirms Rafael Nadal challenge and Wimbledon intentions | Tennis | Sport



Djokovic has been struggling for fitness ever since having elbow surgery last year.

The Serb pulled out of Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage with the injury and despite two separate procedures, is still not 100 per cent fit.

But he did reach the quarter-final of the French Open where he was beaten by Italy’s surprise package Marco Cecchinato.

However, Djokovic appears confident in his elbow and is planning an assault on London’s two premium grass-court tournaments.

“I am very excited to be playing the Fever-Tree Championships again,” Djokovic said.

“I have happy memories of reaching the final at The Queen’s Club 10 years ago and also winning the doubles title the last time I was there.

“The grass courts are always perfect, the atmosphere always great and I am looking forward to playing in front of the British crowds again.”

Djokovic has played at Queen’s three times before and reached the final back in 2008 – where he was beaten by Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard is also due to take up an invitation to the tournament in west Kensington but admitted after his 11th French Open triumph yesterday that his participation was not yet confirmed.

“I’ve had a long and mentally tough clay court season because I played almost all the matches possible,” Nadal said in the aftermath of a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Dominic Thiem in which the world No 1 needed treatment for cramp in the third set.

“I must go back and speak with my team and decide what is better for my body.

“I would love to be playing in as many places as possible but I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days.

“It’s a drastic change from clay to grass. I did it quicker in the past when I was much younger, because I played back to back.”


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