Novak Djokovic injury – Serb’s wrist issues explained

Novak Djokovic injury – Serb’s wrist issues explained
Photo by Icon sport

News of the recent Djokovic injury has been rife since the ATP 2024 schedule kicked off in Australia. If you tuned in for the United Cup while the Serb was playing, you’ll be familiar with what I am referencing here. But if not – prepare to be somewhat alarmed.

During the 2024 United Cup, Djokovic played a grand total of three singles matches. In his first match, things seemed fine. However, it was his second match against Lehecka where talks of a Djokovic injury emerged. 

This was because the world number one was clearly suffering from a wrist injury during the match. After that, he faced Australia’s Alex de Minaur, which is where the real impact of Novak Djokovic’s wrist injury was displayed. 

As he went down to de Minaur in straight sets, which was the Serbian’s first loss down under since 2018, it was obvious that things weren’t right. He seemed somewhat subdued in his encounter with the Aussie, and he received treatment for his wrist during the match. Ultimately, the on-court treatment didn’t have the desired effect, and Djokovic lost that match.

Serbia then lost the overall match against Australia, which was probably a blessing for Djokovic given the circumstances. However, with talks about his injury growing ever louder, I wanted to give you a complete rundown of how things look for the world number one as the ATP 2024 Australian Open draws closer.

All of the necessary details are discussed within, so do read on for the full scope!

The 2024 Djokovic injury details – what you need to know

As I’ve referenced in the introduction above, the latest Djokovic injury relates to his wrist – his right wrist, to be specific. While he hadn’t disclosed any niggles heading into the Australian swing, it didn’t take long for this injury to emerge. In fact, Djokovic displayed signs of discomfort in just his second match at the United Cup.

To refresh your memory, the Djokovic injury was first observed in his three-set victory over Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic. In that match, Lehecka played a great second set to clinch it in a breaker – forcing Djokovic to dig deep to get the win. And while yes, Djokovic stepped up to the challenge, some might say that it came at a cost.

Djokovic actually received medical attention in that match, although on the surface, it didn’t seem as drastic as it turned out to be in his match against Alex de Minaur. Adding to that, since Novak’s injury relates to his right wrist, things are all the more concerning for the Serbian and his team ahead of the Australian Open. 

After all, there is impact and pressure on his right wrist with every single shot he plays since he is right-handed, of course. So if things are not 100%, not only could this impact his performance, but it will almost certainly make his title defence that much tougher in Melbourne.

What’s been said about Djokovic’s injury from his team? 

Now that I’ve provided you with an overview of Djokovic’s injury, let’s get down to some specific details. By this, I mean let’s now look at what Djokovic and his team have disclosed to the media following his very public struggles at the 2024 United Cup. On that note, I’d like to start by looking at what his immediate team has said to the media.

Following an interview with Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, it looks as though things are expected to be fine for the Australian Open. Specifically, Ivanisevic stated that Djokovic’s injury is ‘not a big problem’, to quote him directly. Then again, this is the same man who played down Djokovic’s hamstring issues during the Australian swing in January 2023.

2024 Djokovic injury
Photo by Icon sport

To cast your mind back, Djokovic, in fact, had a tear in his hamstring while bidding for his Australian Open title. And only after the tournament did Ivanisevic state that ‘anybody else would have withdrawn from the event’. So naturally, this leads me to believe that the Djokovic injury could be worse than what his coach is letting on.

In another, rather strange twist, Ivanisevic has told the Serbian media that the 2024 United Cup had served its purpose for Novak. My assumption is that he is at least pleased that Djokovic has competed in a few matches to sharpen up after the December break. 

Then again, Goran can be a bit of an unpredictable character, so perhaps it’s best we don’t spend too much time trying to read between the lines here. In fact, there is an even better source of information out there for the Djokovic injury – Novak Djokovic himself.

So let’s now look at what Djokovic has told the media since his loss to de Minaur at the United Cup.

Has Novak himself provided an update on the injury?

The answer to this question is yes – Djokovic has spoken to the media and addressed the rumours relating to his injury struggles. In fact, he did so right away in the press conference that followed his defeat to de Minaur. But what was asked and what kind of information did Novak disclose in relation to the wrist injury?

When asked directly about the wrist injury, Novak Djokovic said, ‘I think it will be okay, to be honest’. While this isn’t exactly a firm stance on the severity of the injury, it’s comforting to know that he believes it will be okay for Melbourne. However, he did acknowledge that the injury was causing issues on both his forehand and his serve.

Adding to that, Djokovic claimed that he believes he has enough time to prepare properly for the Australian Open. And since he is not due to compete in either of the scheduled warm-up events in the immediate week before Melbourne, I tend to agree with him. Yet, to stress the obvious, we do not know the intricate details of the Djokovic injury.

Maybe he is being purposely optimistic for the media? Or maybe he doesn’t want the other players to know that he is vulnerable at the moment? But regardless of the truth of the matter, we all know of Djokovic’s incredible commitment to his body.

Furthermore, he seems to have an unreal ability to recover from these kinds of physical ailments in a very short period of time. So taking this into account, it’s understandable to think that the Djokovic injury might not stay in the headlines over the coming weeks.

Impact of the Djokovic injury on the 2024 Australian Open

Here is the bit that everybody wants to know. Simply put, will the Novak Djokovic injury have an impact on what occurs at the 2024 Australian Open? Well, I believe that the most appropriate answer to that can only be given once we see him competing in Melbourne. 

Then again, that doesn’t stop us from looking at the current state of play to make informed forecasts about the tournament. On that note, let me break this down and assess the situation from a few relevant angles. 

Firstly, will the Djokovic injury give a boost to his rivals? I believe that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. After all, tennis is a sport where there is always another player looking to take food from your plate. 

I say this because the other players will inevitably smell blood, so to speak, and this has to give them added motivation if they think that the Australian Open King is there for the taking. 

Djokovic injury Australian Open
By Icon Sport

Secondly, will Djokovic’s injury have a considerable impact on his performance at the Australian Open? Well, this is the most intriguing question of the bunch, and the answer isn’t exactly simple. Need I remind you that Djokovic has competed in, and won the Australian Open on several occasions while carrying more severe injuries?

In 2021, he suffered an abdominal tear against Taylor Fritz in just the third round. After overcoming the odds to beat Fritz in five sets, Djokovic required four more match wins for the title. Amazingly, he dropped just two more sets en route to the title, despite the abdominal tear. 

And as mentioned earlier, in 2023, Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open with a serious tear in his hamstring – with the loss of just one set!

Final thoughts on Novak Djokovic’s injury going into the Australian Open

As the information shared today confirms, Djokovic has dealt with injuries both before and during the Australian Open in the past. In fact, things have usually turned out rather well when he has been hampered by some form of injury in Melbourne. 

Of course, I don’t say this to create the impression that the Djokovic injury is something positive for him. Instead, I say this to remind everyone that we are talking about the all-but-confirmed GOAT of men’s tennis. 

The man is a true mental giant. And unless the wrist injury takes a serious turn for the worse, I imagine that we will see a top-level Djokovic at the Australian Open this year.

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