Novak Djokovic 'very excited' to be back at Wimbledon, says he's improved on grass

Novak Djokovic won the French Open title and is also the defending champion at Wimbledon coming into this year's Grand Slam.

File photo - Novak Djokovic in action in Serbia Open; Credit: ATP Tour Twitter

Novak Djokovic is on an absolute high right now. The Serbian just won the French Open title and is also the defending champion at Wimbledon coming into the 2021 edition of the tournament. That being said, the excitement remains high over getting the chance to play in England again.

“I’m very excited, probably along with all the other players when we heard Wimbledon 2020 was cancelled. I’ve had an amazing 2018 and 2019 here, and hopefully I can keep that going,” he told Mats Wilander in a Eurosport interview.

“I’m excited, compared to the first couple of years. In my career I’ve managed to adapt my game to grass. In the last six-seven years I’ve been playing really well, not afraid to come to the net, play some serve-and-volley which is particularly important for this surface. So I can’t wait for the first match to start.”

Djokovic has been in Majorca preparing for the Grand Slam due to less limits on people and movement. In Majorca, he could be around his family and spend time with them.

“I decided that also before the French Open that I’d go to Majorca because I could take my family and spend some time with them,” he said.

“In England it’s restricted, it’s a bubble, it’s a restricted amount of people with you, so there’s obviously different challenges with logistics with family.

“I wanted to combine that with quality training and good quality grass courts and I was very pleased. Had three good quality doubles matches.

“I worked on my serve and my return, probably the two most important shots on grass and I’m happy with my preparation.”

Will be at Olympics if health is fine: Novak Djokovic

The year 2021 will be an exhausting one due to the sheer number of events. That’s not even factoring in time potentially spent in bio-secure bubbles before tournaments.

But Djokovic is clear that he wants to play as much as he possibly can. The goal for him this year is to feature in all four Slams as well as the Olympics and the Davis Cup.

However, he did not commit 100% to being in Tokyo for the postponed Games. Instead, he said he would be at the Olympics “if everything is fine healthwise”.

“I knew before this season started that the five biggest goals for the year were the Olympics and the four slams, and the Davis Cup, which I love to play, I always love to play for my country.

“I’m planning to play at the Olympics if everything is fine healthwise. Knock on wood, I’ll be there. I know it’s very challenging for my family life, for my fitness for my energy levels.

“I’ve done everything in the last three four months to put myself in a good state of mind, body and soul to excel in these tournaments, in order to keep energy levels on the satisfying base and level, so I can keep going until I possibly can.”

Wimbledon challenge

Coming into Wimbledon 2021, Novak Djokovic has momentum on his side. Yet, he will face a stiff test in the first round from 19-year-old British talent Jack Draper.

Djokovic admits theere is little he knows about Draper, but that he’s tried to study him. The world number 1 watched him play at Queens and said he is taking him “very seriously”.

“I don’t know much about Draper honestly. I’ve watched him play a little bit at Queens. I’m trying to gather as much information as I possibly can about him.

“Do my homework, get ready for him. It is the most unique circumstance and unique match as a defending champion, walking onto untouched grass.

“Playing against the hometown favourite, a lefty, a lot of power, big serve, big forehand, very flat, backhand, he’s not afraid to take it on the rise and take it to the net. He looks a complete player and I’m taking him very seriously.”

Sportslumo Desk

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