To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Novak Djokovic Not "All The Way" Recovered After Australian Open Expulsion

Ryan Sidle

Published 
| Last updated 

Novak Djokovic Not "All The Way" Recovered After Australian Open Expulsion

Novak Djokovic is still 'recovering' from the effects of being chucked out of the Australian Open, as he begins the defence of his Wimbledon title, according to John McEnroe.

Loading…

Djokovic's year got off to the worst possible start as he was denied entry into the first grand slam of the year, and thrown out of Australia, back in January.

It led to a delay in his season, didn't even win a tournament until May and was knocked out of the French Open by an injured Rafael Nadal.

Of course it was no huge embarrassment for the Serbian to lose to Nadal, who went on to win the French, but it would have been a gutting experience to have fallen further behind the Spaniard in the race to have the most grand slam titles.

Nadal was the first to reach 21 by winning in Australia, itself and incredible comeback from injury, and then 22 on clay, by winning his 14th slam on the surface.

Djokovic is favourite to win at Wimbledon in two weeks time but, ahead of his opening round match against Kwon Soon-woo, BBC pundit, and tennis legend, McEnroe believes the saga down under could still be affecting the 35-year-old.

"What Rafa did, there's like a few human beings on the face of the planet that can sort of be able to go out and do what he does on a day in day out basis," McEnroe told SPORTbible.

Nadal holds the trophy that took him above Djokovic and Roger Federer on 21 slam wins. Image: PA Images
Nadal holds the trophy that took him above Djokovic and Roger Federer on 21 slam wins. Image: PA Images

"The guy is beyond belief how amazing he is. He's a credit to our sport. He would epitomise, what you would try to get your kids to go do is just give that all out effort every time. So that, you know, I don't know how he does it. I thought I tried hard until I watch this guy.

"As far as Novak you know, what happened to him is just like, sort of really unfortunate, in a lot of ways to see him deported out of Australia was just like, horrible. It just was like, it felt just like a train wreck down there.

"If you're risking something by not doing it [getting vaccinated] unfortunately, that happened and then I'm just I mean, he's human.

"I just I can't imagine that not affecting him and in a pretty big way, like just get let down and then to see Rafa, you know, win it the way he did, this incredible comeback.

Djokovic arrives in Dubai after being deported from Australia. Image: PA Images
Djokovic arrives in Dubai after being deported from Australia. Image: PA Images

"That's a lot to overcome, and just get back and say, 'Okay, forget about it. Let's just go back out there,' and I think you could see it took a few months. And I don't think he's all the way like, I'd be amazed if he was all the way back, mentally, like, just feel like, you know, how the hell did this all happen?"

Djokovic is once again favourite to win at SW19, having won for the sixth time last year, and go ahead of Roger Federer on the all time list.

McEnroe believes that the controversial Serb will win, having been one match away from winning all four slams in a calendar year at last year's US Open.

Djokovic with the Wimbledon trophy last year. Image: Alamy
Djokovic with the Wimbledon trophy last year. Image: Alamy

"Having said that, you know, Novak at 90%, I believe will win Wimbledon," the former Wimbledon champions added.

"It's going to have to take something special to beat him. And I'm sure there'll be he'll try to find that renewed determination.

"I mean, I look Rafa is 36. He's, I mean, it's amazing what they're still doing. I can't it's incredible, but hopefully at least get back to you know, the guy was a match winning the grand slam nine months ago."

John McEnroe is part of the BBC’s Wimbledon 2022 line-up. Catch all the action across BBC TV, radio and online from Monday 27th June.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Tennis, Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Ryan Sidle
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Wojciech Szczesny lost a €100 bet with Lionel Messi over controversial VAR penalty decision

4 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

It's 4am in Australia but the scenes are crazy as they book spot in World Cup last 16

11 hours ago