Novak Djokovic is confident he will be fine to start his Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday.

The seven-time champion at the All England Club was expected to miss the tournament after he had to withdraw from the French Open with a right knee injury and subsequently had surgery earlier this month.

However, Djokovic practised on Centre Court with Jannik Sinner on Thursday before a day later declaring himself pain free after he beat Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-4 in an exhibition match at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at Hurlingham.

Djokovic is pencilled in to start his 19th Championships on Tuesday against qualifier Vit Kopriva and is hopeful his knee will hold up to the rigours of five-set tennis.

“When that happened in the fourth round of Roland Garros, I made a very quick decision to have surgery and I was very much in doubt to make Wimbledon,” the 37-year-old explained.

“Then, after extensive conversations with certain athletes that have been through very similar situations – for example, Taylor Fritz, who has been through something pretty much the same like I have three years ago. He said 21 days after he played his first round in Wimbledon.

“(Stan) Wawrinka, Lindsey Vonn, they all shared their experiences and really, that gave me faith and optimism that if rehab is done right and correct, and if of course the knee responds well – which is something that is very unpredictable – then there is a pretty good chance I’ll make Wimbledon.

“I arrived here on Sunday. It’s been a week of training. A very good week of training.

“I had, particularly the last three days, very intense tennis sessions. I had points. Practice sets played with Sinner, with Frances Tiafoe, with Medvedev yesterday, and Emil Ruusuvuori, actually a double session, and then today with (Holger) Rune, as well.

“Really top players that are playing great tennis on grass. High intensity. Lots of, I guess, situations on the court where the knee is tested to almost the maximum. Change of directions.

“The knee has responded very well to all of that so far, which of course then is a great sign for my participation in Wimbledon. That’s why I decided to be in the draw.

“I still have a couple of days. I play on Tuesday. I’m confident about the health of my knee and just general physical state is really good.

“Obviously once the tournament starts, I’ll have more, I guess, sensations and more feedback from how the knee reacts to a best-of-five Grand Slam match. So far everything that was done was very positive.”

Djokovic was quizzed on Saturday about the risks associated with a return to court so soon after surgery and last year’s runner-up admitted the fact it is Wimbledon increased his desire to come back quickly, even with the Olympics and US Open on the horizon.


He added: “I wouldn’t call it a fear of missing out.

“I would just say it’s this incredible desire to play, just to compete, particularly because it is Wimbledon, the tournament that always has been a dream tournament for me when I was a kid.

“I always dreamed of playing Wimbledon. Just the thought of me missing Wimbledon was just not correct. I didn’t want to deal with that.

“As I said few days ago, I didn’t come here to play a few rounds and prove to myself and others that I can actually compete in one or two matches. I really want to go for the title.

“The last three days have given me enough optimism and good signs that I can actually be in a state to compete on the highest level for the next few weeks hopefully.

“I haven’t had any setback. If I had one setback, I would be then questioning whether I should be here or not, but I haven’t had a single one. Why not give it a shot?”