Former top-20 player questions Novak Djokovic's focus on tennis

Djokovic has yet to win a title this year.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Normally by this time of the year, Novak Djokovic has at least one title. Usually, that title is from winning the Australian Open. But 2024 is different. The Serbian began the year by bowing out earlier than expected at the United Cup and then ran into his new nemesis in Melbourne, Jannik Sinner.

Djokovic's lack of success, compared to his normal rate, is a bit surprising as after he lost the Wimbledon final in five sets in 2023, he did not lose another event he ended. He did lose to Sinner at the ATP Finals in the round-robin stage, but he came back to beat the Italian in the final. But then he lost to Sinner a few days later in the Davis Cup.

One cannot simply blame Sinner for Djokovic's woes, either. Sure, since mid-November, Sinner has been the all-time great in three of four matches, but Djokovic has also lost to Alex de Minaur and, more shockingly, Luca Nardi. Nardi was a qualifier at Indian Wells and outplayed the Serbian soundly to take the match in three sets.

Is Novak Djokovic starting to lose focus on tennis?

But according to tennis commentator Paolo Bertolucci, the issue with Novak Djokovic is not the Serbian's form but rather his focus. Bertolucci appears to be implying that for the first time maybe ever possibly the greatest player in tennis history is no longer driven by the thing that has brought him fame. Whether this is true or not is up for speculation, but Bertolucci says he has sources.

While commentating on Indian Wells for Sky Italia, Bertolucci said, "I spoke with some Serbian collegues. Apparently, at the moment, Djokovic's head is not very focused on tennis. He will probably take some days off and then try to reach his best level for the clay season."

This is odd and leaves a lot to question such as exactly what Djokovic might be focusing on other than the sport. He has unveiled some different product lines over the last six months so maybe as he is getting closer to the end of his career he is beginning to focus on post-tennis business ventures. But that is just a guess, of course.

Maybe Djokovic is truly just skipping the hard-court Miami Open to prepare for the clay-court season in hopes of stealing another French Open. He has three more chances in 2024 to get Grand Slam win number 25. One might assume that if the ATP No. 1 does not get another major title this year, he may never win another ever again.

Read more from Lob and Smash