I’m not one of Wimbledon favourites, insists Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic stepped up his Wimbledon preparations by sweeping into the Queen’s Club quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.tennis Updated: Jun 22, 2018 10:06 IST
Novak Djokovic may have won Wimbledon three times, but the former world number one insists he isn’t one of the favourites to land the All England Club crown this year.
Djokovic stepped up his Wimbledon preparations by sweeping into the Queen’s Club quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.
The 31-year-old needed only 65 minutes to crush world number five Dimitrov and he will next face France’s Adrian Mannarino after recording the 799th win of his career.
It was Djokovic’s first success against a top 10 player in just over a year and the impressive display suggested he made the right decision to play at Queen’s for the first time since 2010.
But even so, Djokovic doesn’t believe he should be expected to dethrone defending champion Roger Federer at Wimbledon next month.
“Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves too early. I’m definitely not one of the favourites for Wimbledon,” he said.
“Roger is the clear favourite without a doubt. (Rafael) Nadal maybe hasn’t played well at Wimbledon by his standards, but he’s won it several times. He’s definitely one of the candidates to win the title.
“Andy (Murray) and myself if we play well (can be contenders). We dropped in the rankings, but Andy played really well against Nick Kyrgios here.
“He has home support, things can go in a good direction if he plays well at Wimbledon.”
Djokovic’s caution comes as he sits a lowly 22nd in the ATP rankings.
An embarrassing French Open quarter-final defeat against Italian journeyman Marco Cecchinato extended his wretched run in 2018.
Hampered by an elbow injury last year, he has failed to reach the semi-finals in any of his last five Grand Slam appearances.
Djokovic hasn’t earned a major title since competing his career Grand Slam by winning the 2016 French Open.
Dogged by rumours that he no longer has the motivation to return to the top, the 12-time Grand Slam winner decided to start his bid for a fourth Wimbledon crown by accepting a Queen’s wild card.
He claimed his confidence is slowly coming back, as he showed by polishing off Dimitrov with ease.
“It was an important match for me. Obviously I didn’t win too many big matches in the last 12 months,” he said.
“I’m still finding my form. This was a great test against one of the top players in the world who prefers this surface.
“I was looking forward to the challenge. I was very focused to give my best performance and I managed to deliver.
“I haven’t had that consistency in my game. Mentally I’ve been trying to put things together in the last three or four months.
“These two matches have been exactly what I needed. I’m enjoying the grass.”
First Published: Jun 22, 2018 10:06 IST