Novak Djokovic’s Remarkable Wimbledon 2024 Return After Injury: Victory and Insights

Novak Djokovic made a spectacular comeback at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Vit Kopriva in straight sets despite worries about his recent knee surgery.

In his first encounter back on the court after missing Roland Garros due to a ruptured medial meniscus, the seven-time Wimbledon winner showed tenacity and form.

The seven-time winner, who had to withdraw from Roland Garros before the quarterfinals due to a ruptured medial meniscus, triumphed in his first encounter following surgery. In his first match back after having surgery on his right knee, No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic stunned everyone by defeating Vit Kopriva 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday.

Novak Djokovic’s Remarkable Wimbledon 2024 Return After Injury: Victory and Insights
Overmatched Vit Kiprova was easily defeated by Novak Djokovic. Photo Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Djokovic said, “I didn’t know how I’m going to feel on the court and how my knee is going to hold up,” following the game. But I was quite pleased with how I moved, how I felt, and how I played. I couldn’t ask for a better beginning to the match.”

Djokovic appeared unlikely to play at the All England Club after tearing his medial meniscus during his victory at Roland Garros in the fourth round. However, the seven-time champion dispelled any remaining concerns about his health beneath the Center Court canopy, winning his 93rd main-draw Wimbledon match against Kopriva in one hour and 58 minutes.

The former No. 1 attributed his main reason for optimism for a speedy comeback—which scarcely seemed in doubt as he began his serious Wimbledon preparation last week—to rival Taylor Fritz’s recovery from a similar injury and subsequent surgery.

Looking strong on the practice court, Djokovic continued that momentum into his first career clash with Kopriva, who defeated Denis Shapovalov in the Top 10 on red clay back in 2021. Djokovic was also scheduled to play his first match after dropping to the No. 1 position against Jannik Sinner.

The opening set was effectively decided in a seven-deuce fourth game, as Djokovic converted his sixth break point of the mini-marathon while sporting a noticeable grey sleeve on his knee. The Serb, who easily won the following three games, broke the Czech in the fifth game of the third set. He then grabbed two more breaks in the second set to take a two-set lead and got over his initial displeasure to put himself in a winning position.

“I didn’t have any kind of pain that I had in that match today,” he stated. “Well, that’s positive. Yes, I would say that things got off to a slightly more cautious start. In terms of the distance balls in the first set, for example, I didn’t really aim for any certain shot 100% of the time.

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“I believe I played just enough to win in straight sets with assurance. I felt like my movement improved as the battle went on. I believe I just did one slide those few times when I broke him in the second set. For me, that was the opening slide of the grass court season. Not even in a practice week have I done it.

That test was excellent, then. After that, I was relieved that I had done it because, in a way, performing such intense moves also makes you feel nervous mentally. However, it is clearly quite reassuring and uplifting to know that I can do it.”

With a record of 105 wins in Wimbledon main-draw matches, Djokovic is second only to Roger Federer. Throughout the match, he demonstrated his knee’s resilience by turning around a 40-30 deficit on Kopriva’s serve and advancing one game closer to the round of five.

With less than two hours to spare, Djokovic surged to match point and used three aces to cross the finish line with little damage and preserve his chances of winning an eighth Wimbledon title.

Alongside Alexander Zverev and Hubert Hurkacz, Djokovic’s probable opponents in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, in the bottom half of the draw, is Jacob Fearnley, a British wild card who won in straight sets over Spanish qualifier Alejandro Moro Canas.

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