Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Djokovic back to tennis and focused on Wimbledon

Published:Monday | June 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Novak Djokovic
Petra Kvitova
Serena Williams
Roger Federer


After losing in the French Open final, Novak Djokovic wanted nothing to do with tennis.

For about a week, anyway.

Now, with his opening match at Wimbledon coming today on Centre Court, the top-ranked Serb is firmly focused on defending his title.

"Took me some time really to recover and to rest after Paris. I didn't want to think about tennis too much," said Djokovic, who lost to Stan Wawrinka in four sets at Roland Garros. "Got myself on the court about 10 days ago, started practising on grass.

"Right now, I think I'm also 100 per cent prepared."

Wimbledon starts this year a bit later than normal, with a three-week break since the French Open. That gave some players more opportunity to make the transition from the slow, red clay to the faster grass surface, and gave others the chance to rest.

best-possible shape

Roger Federer and Andy Murray, two of Djokovic's main rivals at the All England Club, both won grass-court tournaments in the build-up to Wimbledon. But Djokovic hasn't played a competitive match since facing Wawrinka in Paris.

"It's not of my concern, honestly. I just want to get myself in a best-possible shape," Djokovic said yesterday. "I'm aware of the adjustment that is required movement-wise, game-wise, and also mentally for the grass courts, coming from clay courts."

The defending women's champion, Petra Kvitova, won't start her tournament until Tuesday. The second-seeded Czech will play Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the first round.

Kvitova also hasn't played since the French Open, where she lost in the fourth round. And she took some time off earlier in the year to rest, skipping big tournaments in Paris and Florida.

feeling better

"I feel much better than before. I'm really happy to be back on the court to play tennis, to really do what I love," Kvitova said. "It was a really tough decision for me to miss the two big tournaments during March. I did do it. I'm glad that I did it."

If Kvitova makes it back to the final this year, she could end up facing Serena Williams. The top-seeded American, who is looking to win her third major title of the year and is on course for a true Grand Slam, will open Monday against Margarita Gasparyan of Russia on Court No. 1.

Kvitova beat Williams in the semi-finals at the Madrid Open last month.

The other woman in the

mix is Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion. Sharapova is seeded fourth and will face Johanna Konta of Britain in the first round, following Djokovic on court in the main stadium yesterday.

The final match on Centre Court on the opening day will see Wawrinka face Joao Sousa of Portugal.