Australian Open 2024: Novak Djokovic plays down concerns about wrist, backs schedule change


Novak Djokovic downplayed concerns about a right wrist injury ahead of his Australian Open title defense, saying on Saturday that he had dealt with more serious issues in his previous two successful campaigns.

Australian Open 2024, Day 1 Order of Play

Djokovic has taken advantage of the time between the United Cup and the Australian Open to recover and prepare. His practice sessions have been pain-free, which bodes well for his performance in the upcoming matches. He is set to begin his title defense against Croatian qualifier Dino Prizmic, and all eyes will be on him to see if he can maintain his dominance at this Grand Slam event.

“I had time from the last match against De Minaur in the United Cup to my first match here to recover,” Djokovic told reporters ahead of his opener on Sunday against Croatian qualifier Dino Prizmic.

“I’ve been training well. Practice sessions are pain-free so far. It’s all looking good. Let’s see how it goes.”

Djokovic has also backed the schedule change at the expanded Australian Open. Notably, the tournament has added an extra day to its schedule, starting on a Sunday for the first time in its history. This move aligns with other Grand Slams like Roland Garros and aims to better organize the busy opening week, potentially reducing late-night finishes and improving overall player welfare. Djokovic, a founder of the Professional Tennis Players Association, is interested to see how these changes will impact the tournament’s flow and the athletes’ performance.

“I guess that’s one of the motives behind starting on Sunday,” Djokovic told reporters on Saturday.

“Obviously there are other Slams that start on Sunday. Roland Garros starts on Sunday, as well. That’s going to help, I’m sure, get some matches out of the way, reorganise the schedule better in the opening week which is always very busy with a lot of matches on the schedule that need to be finished in a proper time. Let’s see if that works out,” Djokovic added.

Djokovic has an impressive track record at Melbourne Park and is looking to extend his record with an 11th Australian Open title.

Published By:

Saurabh Kumar

Published On:

Jan 13, 2024

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