Misc Tennis

I’m Still A Little Bit Rusty

"I'm Still A Little Bit Rusty"

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday July 4, 2024

It’s already a bit miraculous that Novak Djokovic is playing at Wimbledon this week. The man – the 37-year-old man! – had knee surgery on June 5th, after all.

Tennis Express

But now that he is playing, and through two rounds at these Championships, Djokovic admits that he’s having a difficult time getting everything hunky dory.

“I do feel that has an impact on my movement a little bit in terms of the speed,” he said. “It’s not yet there where I want it to be. Kind of late on the balls that I’m normally not late on. That’s the part which I guess comes with matches. So the longer I stay in the tournament, I think the better the chances that my movement will improve. The earlier rounds is where I’m still a little bit rusty on the movement, I think. That’s what I felt today, at least”

He’s made incredible progress just to take his place on the court and reach the third round, but he feels his biggest progress will have to come in the days to come.

“As the tournament progresses, as I said, the more matches I have, the better the chance I’ll have to feel more comfortable moving around and gain that speed, agility, change of direction, that freedom that I’m looking for, really. I had it in certain moments today, certain moments in the first match, but then it’s still not there. In a way, it’s expected and normal when you come back from surgery, the body’s trying to understand what’s going on.”

The best news for Djokovic is that he isn’t feeling pain, which means he is free to continue working on gaining strength and confidence in the knee during his off days. He will face Alexei Popryin in the third round, after a day off on Friday.

“I’m not feeling the pain, but I’m struggling a little bit with movement. That’s fine,” he said. “That’s something that is workable. I can work on it on a daily basis. But it’s going to have the biggest effect on matches. The more matches, the more of those types of situations I have, the better I will play and move.

“I didn’t experience any pain today. The first match I did have one or two situations. Today none, which is great. My knee has been responding really well in the days off, as well. I haven’t had any swelling, inflammation, so that’s great. The muscles around it are contracting and getting sore more than usual because they’re compensating and protecting the knee, which is normal. There’s more work on those muscles. Maybe because they are sore, they’re…

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