Former Grand Slam champion questions whether Novak Djokovic was truly injured

There seems little doubt that Djokovic recently had his knee operated on, but one former Grand Slam champion seems to doubt the fact.
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024 / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

One might not be wrong if they believe that 1976 French Open champion Adriano Panatta wakes up and decides he has not gotten enough attention recently and so he starts spouting some ridiculous comments. Either that or Panatta is so far out of his head at times that even he is not aware of what he is saying. He clearly says things to antagonize at times.

The Italian's most recent bon mot was delivered about Novak Djokovic. There is little doubt that the Serb injured his meniscus during the French Open and had surgery nearly immediately afterward. His participation at Wimbledon was in doubt because of the issue, but he managed to make the event and started the grass-court major by winning his first three matches.

The Serb was not playing in peak form, but he was obviously playing well enough to win. He also did not seem to be struggling to move around the court very well. Djokovic was playing arguably as well as he had all year so far, a season in which he has surprisingly not made the final in any event he has entered.

Adriano Panatta appears to think Novak Djokovic is lying about his knee injury

Panatta, though, seems to doubt that Djokovic was ever truly hurt. That was his implication at least in a recent interview with Libero Quotidiano. Panatta said, "Let’s say there’s a big mystery surrounding (Djokovic). How is he really? Is he bluffing? And his recently operated knee?"

"Bluffing"? What is Panatta's endgame there? Plus, the last part certainly makes it appear that the Italian does not think the Serb was hurt and possibly did not have surgery. This would have been a huge ruse for Djokovic to make up, though. He would have had to have a surgeon lie about any kind of medical procedure, for one.

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What would be the point in the Serb pretending to have surgery anyway? His opponents would not simply take it easier on him during matches because they empathize with him being hurt. If anything, his foes would want to pounce more aggressively to potentially take advantage of a less mobile Djokovic.

This is likely another example of Adriano Panatta not getting enough love and wanting to draw attention to himself. If that was his goal, he achieved it. Possibly one day people will stop listening to him.

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