Novak Djokovic's second round opponent at Wimbledon already seems defeated

Djokovic still needs to make sure his knee is up for a run at Wimbledon, but he might have already won his second-round match.
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024 / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Is Novak Djokovic going to write another chapter in his future book about playing tennis by winning Wimbledon 2024 just a month after having surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee? He looked extremely sharp in his first-round match, but things will get tougher soon. Just maybe not in the second round.

The issue is that his opponent on Thursday, Jacob Fearnley, might be a good player one day, but he does not likely have the correct mental approach ahead of his match versus the Serb. Fearnley and Djokovic have never played one another. The Serb has 24 Grand Slam victories, while Fearnley has played just two professional tennis matches.

To be fair, almost every human would be a bit intimidated before playing someone such as Djokovic. He earned his fame by winning a lot. He will remain one of the most famous tennis players for the rest of the history of the sport. Fearnley is currently ranked 277 with a career-high of 271.

Jacob Fearnley might be in too much awe to give Novak Djokovic much of a fight at Wimbledon

While being a bit in awe of playing Djokovic, a competitor probably does not want to admit before the match that he is fearful. One might not have confidence that they will defeat any certain player, but they need to have confidence enough in themselves to think they at least have a chance.

During a press conference at Wimbledon ahead of his match versus the Serb, Fearnley said, "I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t watching the scores on Centre Court. It was getting in my head a little bit that I was going to have to play him...Yeah, it’s going to be a little bit intimidating, but it’s a match that I’m super excited for...Just to be able to share the court with a player like that will be really special."

Some older players had great starts at Wimbledon 2024. Some older players had great starts at Wimbledon 2024. dark. Next

Fearnley seems to be more a fanboy than a future opponent for Djokovic. He also went on to name family members who are coming to watch him play. That is not normally odd except in this case, Fearnley seems excited that family members are coming to watch him play someone important than hopes that Fearnley wins.

Who is Jacob Fearnley, though? He is a Scot who played college tennis in the United States. He earned a wild card for Wimbledon by winning the ATP Challenger event in Nottingham in June. At least the Scot will have one thing in his favor: Since he is British, the Wimbledon crowd is sure to be firmly behind him as he plays - and quite likely loses - to Novak Djokovic.

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