Taylor Fritz reveals bond with Novak Djokovic ahead of Wimbledon

Djokovic is hoping to make it back for Wimbledon after injuring his knee at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic at the 2023 US Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2023 US Open / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Novak Djokovic has not yet announced when he will return from a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. At Roland Garros, the 24-time Grand Slam winner tore his meniscus and had surgery just a couple of days afterward. He likely does not know when he will be able to get back to playing professional tennis yet.

An average recovery time from the type of surgery the Serb had is between three and eight weeks. That is for a normal human. Djokovic is not normal for a couple of reasons. One is that he has proven himself to be a world-class athlete. The other is that he plays tennis for a living which means his occupation is harder on his joints than many other walks of life.

Taylor Fritz is a former top-ten-ranked player on the ATP tour and remains the top-ranked American men's player. He also can sympathize with Djokovic's knee problem. Fritz suffered the same injury at the Cinch Championships in 2021. The American had to be wheelchaired off the court. He was able to return, though, three weeks later to play at Wimbledon and won his first-round match.

Taylor Fritz reveals why Novak Djokovic contacted him after the Serb's recent surgery

Because Fritz had gone through the same recovery, Djokovic gave the American a call to get a sense of what he did to recover quickly from surgery. Fritz revealed in a press conference at the 2024 Cinch Championships that the Serb had "reached out" to him.

Fritz said, "I told him what it was like for me. A lot of it comes down to the inflammation and how you react. It’s possible for Novak to play. It’s the exact same thing that I had and I played. Obviously, I wasn’t contending to win a title, I was just showing up to hopefully win a couple of rounds – but it is possible."

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

A couple of bits are telling with what Fritz said. One is that Fritz admitted that he did not believe that he would make a deep run at Wimbledon and was not going to win the title. This meant he did not expect to have to put too much pressure on his knee for an extended time immediately after returning from surgery. Djokovic might not have the same approach as he would expect to have a chance to win the tournament.

The other bit is that clearly even a potentially weakened Djokovic still concerns players. Fritz assumes that the Serb will be a favorite at Wimbledon even after his recent knee problem. Failing to reach a final in 2024 before hurting his knee, having surgery during the French Open, and then winning Wimbledon would certainly be another remarkable event in Djokovic's incredible career.

More tennis news and analysis: