Djoković’s fans rejoice as the Serbian maestro decides to play in Tokyo. He announced that he’s finally training pain-free, and that will participate in the Japan Open tournament, which begins next Monday, September, 30.
After the dramatic win over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon finals, the 16-time Grand Slam champion started experiencing severe shoulder pain.
He didn’t talk much about his shoulder problems after the early-round matches in the US Open. In the second round against Juan Ignacio Londero, Djoković requested several medical timeouts but managed to withstand the challenge.
The injury re-aggravated during the fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka when he was forced to retire after being down by two sets. After withdrawing from the game, the Serb left many fans at the tournament disappointed. Nole was also notably frustrated but said that he couldn’t continue after feeling some ”discomfort” in his shoulder.
Djoković then admitted that his shoulder had been “causing pain” for weeks, which is why he decided to skip the Lavers’ Cup.
The situation started improving, so after training with the Serbian national team in Belgrade, he decided to embark on a three-week stint in Asia, starting with the Japan Open.
After Tokyo, the 32-year old is scheduled to play in the Shanghai Masters in October, followed by the Paris Masters. He also plans on playing at the season-ending tournament in London, and then rejoin his fellow countrymen at the Davis Cup in Madrid.
In his interviews, Djoković expressed his excitement to be back on the court and is looking forward to playing. “I have been training without pain for two days, and that makes me very optimistic that I could play until the end of the season, as I planned.”
The Serb has been the world’s number one since November 2018. However, he faces some fierce competition in Nadal, who is only 640 points behind Djoković after winning the US Open. The Spaniard will have a chance to overtake Djoković’s position at the top of the ATP rankings in the following tournaments.
Federer, who is currently at the third spot in the rankings, is in contention to move himself to the number two position. Djoković could very well find himself third on the rankings by the end of the year.
The Big Three continues to dominate the game, and the GOAT debate will go on as they battle for Grand Slam titles in the future.