Novak Djokovic next match: When will Wimbledon champion play next? Return date revealed
Novak Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon champion, will be gearing up to defend his title at the All England Club.
The world number one missed out on the chance to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously at Roland-Garros.
He lost a gruelling five-set French Open semi-final to Austrian Dominic Thiem across two days in frequently freak weather conditions.
The Serb has already claimed two titles this year, beating French Open champion Nadal at the Australian open before winning the Madrid Open at the start of May.
Nadal’s typically dominant performance in Paris means the Spaniard has closed in on Djokovic at the top of the rankings.
The top two lead third-placed Roger Federer ahead of the start of Wimbledon in July.
When is Novak Djokovic’s next match – will Djokovic play before Wimbledon?
Djokovic appeared at Queen’s shortly before his victory at Wimbledon last year, turning out in west London at a tournament he called “great preparation” for the major.
He went on to lose the longest final in the history of the tournament, spurning a match point on the way to suffering a three-set defeat against Marin Cilic.
The grass surface at Queen’s, which runs from June 17 to 23 this year, is considered an ideal practice ground for players to sharpen their skills ahead of the Grand Slam.
With the tournament just a few days away, Djokovic looks increasingly unlikely to repeat his wildcard entry of last year.
The world number two has announced he will not be playing any warm-up tournaments before he seeks to continue his formidable form in London.
Nadal lost a five-set semi-final to Djokovic in 2018 and has not won the tournament since 2010.
At 32, Djokovic could be pursuing a similar scheduling strategy to Nadal, who believes that staying healthy is more important than racking up matches.
Djokovic could face Andy Murray should he make a late decision to play at Queen’s. The Briton is attempting a comeback following major hip surgery that has largely kept him out of action since he lost in the Wimbledon quarter-finals of 2017.
The longer I play in my career or the further I go, the sense of history-making is only getting stronger
Speaking about Murray’s potential return, Djokovic said: “I’m really pleased that he’s coming back to the court – he’s going to play doubles and, hopefully, singles very soon.
“After what has happened with him in the last couple of years, I can relate to the issues that he had.
“I kind of went through my elbow surgery at a similar time but obviously his injuries are much worse than mine.
“I’ve shared the trajectory of my career in a very similar fashion, and at the same time, as Andy, so I feel very connected with him.
“We’re the same age, the same generation and we’ve known each other for a long time, so it’s really nice to see him.”
With Murray out of the rankings reckoning, Thiem’s run to the final has seen the 25-year-old cement his place in the top four in the world.
Almost 500 events have passed since the established top four of Murray, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer made up the semi-finals line-up at a tour-level tournament, at the 2012 Australian Open.
Despite the emergence of a crop of promising young talents, the top three continue to dominate the leading tournament.
Thiem is the only active male player to have reached a Grand Slam singles final aged under 28.
Nadal jokingly compared the old order to the Beatles, saying: “I’m sure some people would debate if Ringo Starr was the less famous. Some people liked him the most. That’s what my parents tell me.
“The longer I play in my career or the further I go, the sense of history-making is only getting stronger.
“That’s one of the greatest motivations I have, obviously. I think there is no better way to make history of the sport than to win slams and play your best in the biggest events, and obviously try to stay Number one as long as you can.”
Djokovic will win Wimbledon for the fifth time if he retains his title at this year’s tournament, which begins on July 1.
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