Djokovic ‘at his peak’ ahead of return

The world number one will make his comeback at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis championship

Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic revealed he feels at his "peak" ahead of his comeback to competitive action, but admitted that he can't pick and choose his tournaments in 2022 moving forward after taking part in another practice session in Dubai.

The 34-year-old will swing a professional racket for the first time this year at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis championship, which does not carry a vaccine mandate.

Yet despite controversial January in which he had to miss the Australian Open won by Rafael Nadal after being deported in a visa and vaccination row, Djokovic claims to be in top shape. 

"It wasn't really difficult for me to pick up a racket and go out and practice the sport and just play," Djokovic told reporters, according to the AP

"I'm as well prepared as I possibly can be."

Yet Djokovic did acknowledge a personal price that had been paid amid a legal dispute in Australia, where a medical exemption wasn't deemed enough for him to defend his crown and his visa was canceled.

"There were lots of emotions after I came back from Australia," Djokovic admitted.

"It was strange. I was disappointed, I was sad about the way it all has played out and the way I left the country."

Though there will be other smaller tournaments in between, Djokovic's main focus will be on retaining his titles at the French Open and Wimbledon, avenging his US Open final loss to Daniil Medvedev, and catching up with Nadal, who surpassed him to reach 21 Grand Slam wins in Melbourne. 

But as his refusal to get vaccinated provides potential obstacles, Djokovic conceded that he can't pick his events.

"Whatever tournament I'll be able to play I'll be trying to get to that country and play that tournament," Djokovic vowed.

"I really can't choose. It's really about where I can go and play."

Read more
Novak Djokovic © Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images
Djokovic defiant over vaccines as tennis ace teases comeback (VIDEO)

Yet to Dubai, where the authorities do not require foreign visitors to be vaccinated to gain entry to the emirate, Djokovic feels a special link and is clearly excited about appearing at the upcoming competition where he has lifted the trophy five times. 

"Having previous positive experiences on the court and titles obviously connects me to this place even more," Djokovic pointed out. 

"We'll play this tournament and see how it goes further down the line."

Djokovic officially begins his comeback with a Center Court opening match against Lorenzo Musetti on Monday. 

Post a Comment