Former top-ten player spins surprising twist on Novak Djokovic's priorities

Djokovic seems bent on playing at Wimbledon, but one former top player believes his priorities lie elsewhere.
Novak Djokovic at the French Open
Novak Djokovic at the French Open / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Novak Djokovic has not withdrawn from Wimbledon and he does not appear on the verge of doing so. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus during the French Open and seems set on returning about three weeks after the surgery. That is the minimum amount of time for a normal recovery from the procedure.

There is still a chance he does pull out of the tournament, of course, but he is at least traveling to London for the tournament. Possibly he wants to test the knee in practice rounds on a grass court. Grass is not the best surface for stability, and can get quite slick if there is any moisture. The Serb risks himself to further injury if he is not 100 percent healed.

Djokovic might also want to save himself for a tournament that has a higher priority for the player, an event he has not won before. According to former top-ten ATP player and current tennis commentator Greg Rusedski, there is little doubt that the tournament that the Serb wants to win most is the Olympics. The best Djokovic has done at the event is winning a bronze medal in 2008.

Novak Djokovic's main tennis priority might not be Wimbledon

Since then, Djokovic has watched two other members of the Big 4 win Olympic gold. Rafael Nadal won the same year Djokovic won bronze, while Andy Murray won gold in both 2012 and 2016. The 24-time Grand Slam winner probably wants to win at the Olympics for two reasons: He wants to win for Serbia, but the competitor in him wants to match Nadal and Murray.

Next. Ons Jabeur drops sad news about the Olympics. Ons Jabeur drops sad news about the Olympics. dark

On the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast, Rusedski said, "And I know the driver for this year for Novak. If you say to Novak, ‘Another Major or three Majors or Olympic gold, what’s more important here?’ Olympic gold is by far number one in his catalog...(if) his team and his doctor and people around him say, ‘Okay, we can manage this and you’ll be at 85, 90 percent’, I think he’s gonna risk it."

The Olympics are held in Paris in 2024 and this means that players will be playing on the same courts where the French Open is held. At least Djokovic will be familiar with the surroundings and how to perform on the clay to not risk injury. Hopefully, he stays healthy enough for a deep run at the event.

More tennis news and analysis: