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French Open | Novak Djokovic appearance in the Wimbledon doubtful

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French Open | Novak Djokovic appearance in the Wimbledon doubtful

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SportsCafe Desk


After his quarter-final defeat in the French Open against Marco Cecchinato, three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has revealed his uncertainty in participating in the grass-court tournament. Djokovic was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 7-6 (13-11) by the Italian World No. 72, in Paris on Tuesday.

Novak Djokovic, whose 20th seeding was his lowest at a Slam since the 2006 US Open, lost in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the second successive year on Tuesday. He won the Grand Slam in 2016, which has been followed by defeats in 2017 and 2018 editions of the tournament. With the victory in French Open 2016, he became only the eighth man to have achieved the career Grand Slam which meant he held all four majors at the same time.

Djokovic was beaten 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 7-6 (13-11) by Italy's world number 72 Marco Cecchinato in Paris on Tuesday. After an elbow injury had limited the 12-time Grand Slam champion's playing time this year, he was seen treated for his neck during the defeat after the first set. His physical concerns clearly existed. Although the elbow he had minor surgery on, after the Australian Open, seemed to have improved, he has needed treatment on the shoulder that has caused him intermittent trouble over the past couple of years.

After losing in the French Open quarter-finals, three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has stated that he didn't know if he was going to play on grass. After a year, which has been disrupted by injury, he has dropped to 22nd in the rankings, which has been his lowest since October 2006.

The former world number 1 had decided to take time off after retiring from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych last summer with an elbow injury. He returned in January this year when he reached the last 16 of the Australian Open, following which he needed a "minor procedure" on the same elbow after losing to Hyeon Chung, that had again ruled him out for two months.

After returning to Indian Wells in March, Djokovic had been making made slow progress in terms of results before warming up for Roland Garros with a run to the Rome quarter-finals. He had spoken this week about building up his form in order to peak at the Grand Slams and appeared to be have done precisely that when he demolished 30th seed Fernando Verdasco in straight sets in the fourth round. But Djokovic was shocked to fall at the last-eight stage in Paris.

"Any defeat is difficult in the Grand Slams, especially the one that came from months of build-up," he said during a news conference which took place only about 15 minutes after his defeat as quoted by BBC. 

"I thought I had a great chance to get at least a step further, but wasn't to be."

Asked if he was back, Djokovic was blunt. "I am back in the locker room. That's where I'm back," he said.

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