LONDON, 18 Apr. (dpa/EP) –
The Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, number one in the world, has admitted that his right elbow “is not in ideal conditions”, although he will also participate in the ATP 250 category tournament in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and played on clay .
The Balkan, who underwent surgery on the joint in 2018, sparked fitness fears when he wore elbow taping and struggled during his shock loss to Lorenzo Musetti in Monte Carlo last week.
Djokovic refused to speak on the subject after that match, but opened up in a press conference ahead of his first match in Banja Luka. “The elbow is not in ideal condition, but let’s say it’s good enough. I hope he’s fully ready for the first game,” he said.
Although Djokovic still has more than a month to get back to full fitness before Roland Garros, with Rafa Nadal still sidelined with the iliopsoas injury he sustained at the Australian Open, this could be one of the most open summers in the men’s tennis for two decades.
Djokovic will face 18-year-old Frenchman Luca Van Assche in his opening match; it’s rare to see players higher up the rankings compete in the smaller events on the ATP Tour, but Djokovic didn’t want to miss out on playing so close to home.
“People welcome me wholeheartedly, with a great welcome and a lot of love and support. I’m super excited to be here because I think it’s one of the best places for us Serbian tennis players and for athletes in general to to be able to play, a place where we have so much love and support from the local people,” he concluded.
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