Why Djokovic Could Skip Wimbledon In Interest Of Bigger Objective

Why Djokovic Could Skip Wimbledon In Interest Of Bigger Objective

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic has won Wimbledon seven times, and one more success this year could tie him with Roger Federer for the most titles by a male player at the tournament.

Since making his Grand Slam debut at the 2005 Australian Open, Djokovic has only missed a paltry four Grand Slam tournaments (from 2005 to 2024). That is simply impressive.

What is even more remarkable is that his absences have been forced, either through injury (2017 US Open), tournament cancellation (2020 Wimbledon), or COVID restriction (2022 Australian Open and US Open).

However, this year, Djokovic might do something peculiar that he hasn't done in his Grand Slam career: skip a major tournament. And not any major tournament, but Wimbledon!

Why Would Djokovic Skip Wimbledon?

The direct answer is that Djokovic has a bigger fish to fry. However, the instant question would be which tournament is more prestigious than Wimbledon.

This being an Olympic year, Djokovic is pursuing the one title missing on his resume: an Olympic gold medal. He has been close on multiple occasions. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and lost in the semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

Wimbledon and the Olympics don't clash but run subsequent to each other on the 2024 tennis calendar. Secondly, there is the surface factor. This year's Olympic tennis tournament is played at Roland Garros on clay.

For many players, this represents a real test of their endurance and instant adjustments to court changes midway through the season. Because Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics are separated by two weeks, this is a huge transitional challenge.

So, basically, Djokovic's schedule in the second half of the campaign could look something like this: French Open, Wimbledon, Olympics, and then North American hardcourt. That involves switching three surfaces in the space of just four months.

If he does exceptionally well at the French Open again and reaches another final, that would give him at least 20 days to prepare for Wimbledon, which sounds like ample time to recover and recuperate ahead of the grass swing.

But he risks operating on a crash program from July 1st, when Wimbledon starts, which could result in a Tokyo 2020 rerun. He turns 37 in May and has required additional off-court time to recharge himself in recent years.

He also has two title defenses in the US in August. It is almost certain he will miss the Canadian Open this year, more so if he contests the gold medal match at the Paris Olympics.

It is Djokovic's call, and it would be totally fine if he didn't withdraw from Wimbledon. But because he yearns for the missing piece in his trophy collection, he has an ethical dilemma.


You may also like