After winning the French Open last year to complete his Career Grand Slam. Novak Djokovic has admitted that he lost motivation for the game. His three-and-a-half year partnership with Boris Becker ended at the back end of the 2016 campaign. Nevertheless, the 12-time Grand Slam champion fired his entire coaching team at the start of May, and Andre Agassi is now his coach. Djokovic's loss of form has seen him fall to number four in the world. He will be looking to re-assert his authority at Wimbledon, where he is a three-time champion.
Notable results to date
The 30-year-old lost his world number one ranking to Andy Murray at the end of 2016. He has plenty of points to defend from the Australian Open up until Wimbledon. A few more points to defend at the Rogers Cup, and the US Open as well. Nevertheless, it will be a while until Djokovic might regain the world number one ranking. The re-emergence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will also play a part in the race for the top spot.
The Serb retained his title in Doha by defeating Andy Murray in a three-set final, setting the tone for the Australian Open. However, the six-time champion in Melbourne was the two-time defending champion. He suffered a shocking five-set loss to Denis Istomin in the second round. The world number four suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco, and at the BNP Paribas Open. Djokovic was the three-time defending champion at the Californian Desert, and he simply had no answers against the tall Aussie. The Serb was unable to defend his titles at the Miami Open withdrawing from the event due to an elbow injury.
The two-time Monte Carlo Masters champion began his preparations for Roland Garros in Monte Carlo. Djokovic struggled throughout the tournament and he was taken to the brink of defeat in his first two matches. Gilles Simon and Pablo Carreno Busta were unable to dispatch the Serb. He survived both of those matches in three sets but he lost to two-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist David Goffin for the first time in a high-quality quarterfinal encounter. Djokovic returned to the Caja Magica at the Mutua Madrid Open as the defending champion. The former world number one overcame a tough three-set clash with Nicolas Almagro. Finally, Djokovic was able to win a match in straight sets for the first time since defeating Kyle Edmund in the Californian Desert. Feliciano Lopez was the victim in the third round. The Serb received a bye into the semifinals as his anticipated clash with Kei Nishikori, did not materialize due to the Japanese star withdrawing due to injury. The defending champion's seven-match winning streak against Rafael Nadal came to a halt in the semifinals as the Spaniard overpowered Djokovic. However, the Serb did improve in the second set but was unable to defeat a red-hot Nadal.
The world number four went on to carry on his clay court preparations for the French Open in Rome. The four-time Internazionali BNL d'Italia champion returned to the Foro Italico looking for a record 31st Masters 1000 title. He emphatically dispatched Aljaz Bedene in his first match. Roberto Bautista Agut was swept aside in the third round. The 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro was unable to deal with the Serb in the quarterfinals. Djokovic thrashed Dominic Thiem in the semifinals to reach his eighth final at the Foro Italico. However, he was unable to add another title to his cabinet. Alexander Zverev became the first player since Djokovic, who won the Miami Open in 2007 to win a Masters 1000 title as a young teen in straight sets.
It was now time for Djokovic to return to the French Open as the defending champion. The former world number one thrashed Marcel Granollers and Joao Sousa in the opening two rounds. However, Djokovic suffered an almighty scare in the third round against the talented Argentine Diego Schwartzman. The diminutive player took a two sets to one lead over Djokovic but he was fatigued and was hampered by injury, which allowed the Serb to carry on his title defense into the second week by coming out on top in five sets. The 12-time Slam champion looked like a defending champion as he comfortably dispatched Albert Ramos Vinolas in the fourth round. In the quarterfinals, the Serb's title defense came to an end at the hands of Dominic Thiem, who remarkably defeated Djokovic, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0.
Grass court results leading up to Wimbledon
For only the third time in his career, Djokovic has opted to play a competitive warm-up event ahead of a Grand Slam. The world number four last played a warm-up event between the French Open and Wimbledon was at Queen's in 2010. The three-time Wimbledon champion is looking to fine tune his grass court game ahead of his charge for a fourth title in seven years at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. Djokovic will face Vasek Pospisil in the first round.
Best Wimbledon result
The former world number one has won Wimbledon on three occasions in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Djokovic defeated two-time champion Rafael Nadal in his first SW19 final, and he defeated seven-time champion Roger Federer in his last two triumphs.
Djokovic entered the 2011 Championships as the second seed, and he was in contention for the world number one ranking along with Nadal, who was the reigning top player in the world and defending champion. The Serb dispatched Jeremy Chardy and Kevin Anderson in the first two rounds in straight sets. He also defeated Marcos Baghdatis in the third round in four sets, and Michael Llodra in the fourth round to reach his fourth quarterfinal at SW19. Djokovic defeated first-time quarterfinalist Bernard Tomic in four sets, and in the semifinals, he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach his first Wimbledon final, and thus claimed the world number one ranking for the first time in his career. He defeated Nadal in their first of four Grand Slam final meetings in a row, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
In 2014, Djokovic was ranked at number two but he was the top seed due to Nadal's poor showing on the grass in recent years. Djokovic reached the quarterfinals for the seventh time in his career and he suffered an almighty scare against Marin Cilic. The Croat took a two sets to one lead but Djokovic overcame Cilic to reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, the Serb defeating first-time semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov in four sets. In the final, Djokovic recovered from a set down to defeat Roger Federer in a five-set thriller, 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 to win his seventh Grand Slam title. It was Djokovic's first Slam triumph under the tutelage of Boris Becker, and his first Slam since winning the Australian Open in 2013. He also returned to the world number one ranking for the first time since October 2013.
Djokovic returned in 2015 as the top seed and reigning champion. He cruised through to the fourth round by defeating formidable opponents in Philipp Kohlschreiber, Jarkko Nieminen, who was participating at his last Wimbledon and Bernard Tomic without losing a set to reach the fourth round. However, Djokovic had to fight back to dispatch Kevin Anderson from a two sets to love deficit. For the second successive year, Djokovic and Cilic faced off in the quarterfinals and it was less drama as the Serb won in straight sets. In the semifinals, the defending champion defeated Richard Gasquet in straight sets, and once again he denied Federer the chance to win eight Wimbledon titles in four sets to clinch his ninth Slam title.
Despite winning Wimbledon three times he has actually won more matches at the other three Slams, and he has won more Wimbledon titles than French and US Opens. He has 54 match wins in London, and to go with his three titles, he has been a runner-up once in 2013, a semifinalist three times, and a quarterfinalist once in 2009. His reign as the two-time defending champion came to a halt when he lost to Sam Querrey in the third round, his earliest defeat at a Slam since the French Open in 2009. That has now been eclipsed as he lost in the second round in Melbourne.
How Djokovic's game translates to grass
The former world number one has been able to adapt to grass perfectly, and the surface suits his game. Djokovic has an underrated big serve, and he gets a lot of aces on this surface. His one-two combination with big serve out wide and a forehand winner down the line has accounted for his three Wimbledon triumphs. The Serb is also one of the best returners in the men's game along with Andy Murray. The 12-time Grand Slam champion has the ability to slide on all three surfaces, which is another reason why he can be tough to break down on grass.
The three-time champion is ranked at number four in the world currently but he will be seeded second at Wimbledon as he has won at SW19 twice in past three years. His form may not be the best but the former world number one is certainly a contender to win his 13th Grand Slam singles title, as he tries to close the gap on Federer and Nadal. His charge at a fourth title at SW19 is set to begin next Tuesday as Murray will be the top seed and the defending champion who traditionally opens up play on the first Monday.