Tennis expert's comments on Novak Djokovic seem ridiculous now

Djokovic has not made the final of any event in 2024 ahead of the French Open.
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Men's tennis is in complete disarray right now as far as the players ranked atop the ATP. Novak Djokovic is still No. 1 but seemingly almost by accident. His closest challengers, No. 2 Jannik Sinner and No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz have struggled with injury issues at the beginning of 2024 so neither has truly been able to take a big run at the being No. 1.

Sinner and Alcaraz, however, are both extremely young players who have a lot of years left to play tennis and will learn how to play while being hurt or not 100 percent. There is no real reason for them to rush back to playing if they are ailing because they are in the sport for the long term and not close to the ends of their careers.

The same seemingly cannot be said of Djokovic. He finished 2023 extremely well and did not lose an ATP tournament after he lost in five sets in the Wimbledon final to Alcaraz. While Djokovic dropped a match to Sinner at the ATP Finals, the Serb came back to win the event in the knock-out rounds. That included defeating Sinner in the final.

Recent comments about Novak Djokovic seem wildly off

But Djokovic has not been the same in 2024 compared to almost any other year of his career since 2007. He has not made a final of any tournament he has entered. Normally by this time of the year, Djokovic has won the Australian Open along with a number of other events. Currently, the drive he normally has to succeed appears to be missing.

He and long-term coach Goran Ivanisevic parted this year and the Serb is doing off-court things that seem to imply he is preparing for the end of his career and that end could come soon. Against Alejandro Tabilo in the third round of the Italian Open this week, Djokovic played horribly and, worse, did not seem to be overly bothered by how much he was being dominated by Tabilo.

This makes recent comments by former British No. 1 and current tennis commentator Andrew Castle seem silly. According to Tennis365, Castle said of Djokovic, "If you ask me who is going to win Wimbledon on the men’s side, I would have to say Novak. If you were betting on someone, why would you bet against the bloke who has done it all before?...You really need to believe you can (win Wimbledon) and Novak knows that."

That is the question that needs answering, however. Does Novak Djokovic truly believe he can win Wimbledon or any event right now? He is playing as if he is unsure of himself and almost as if he does not care that he wins. That is meant as no disrespect. He has earned the right to be called the greatest player ever, but he is certainly not the best player in 2024.

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