Novak Djokovic declared himself pain free after overcoming Daniil Medvedev in an exhibition match ahead of Wimbledon.

The former world number one was expected to miss the tournament he has won seven times after having knee surgery less than three weeks ago but now appears almost certain to play.

His movement was not completely perfect in a 6-3 6-4 win over Medvedev at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at Hurlingham, with Djokovic, who wore strapping on his right knee, showing a reluctance to push off from that leg when out wide, but he served well and struck the ball crisply.

Asked about his fitness afterwards, the 37-year-old initially gave a big sigh before saying: “I can tell you that I enjoyed myself really, really much today.

“I can tell you that pain-free tennis is the best tennis. I was pain-free and I’m really glad. It was a great test obviously against one of the best players in the world.

“I’ve played a couple of practice sets but I really wanted to test myself. The test was very successful so I’m obviously really glad. It’s been an intense three week after surgery, spending a lot of hours rehabbing.

“I kind of always wanted to give myself a chance to be in London. I think my surgeon is here. He’s the MVP for sure the last three weeks. I’m trying to take it day by day and see how far it goes.”


Djokovic has been leaning on fellow athletes who have suffered similar injuries, including American Taylor Fritz, who faced the same situation three years ago and recovered in time for Wimbledon.

“I asked him, I asked many athletes – (Stan) Wawrinka, Lindsey Vonn, Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and they were all very kind to share some of their experiences and give me some contacts of people who could help me out,” said Djokovic.

Medvedev did not sense any physical weakness in his opponent but thinks there could still be question marks about how Djokovic will handle the demands of Wimbledon.

“He seems to be fine,” the world number five told the PA news agency. “You never know what he feels inside of him.

“It’s a five-set match on grass (at Wimbledon), never easy for the knee, so I don’t know how it’s going to go during the matches. But he seemed to be moving well, even if I got him off guard a little bit.”