Missing Wimbledon would not have been 'correct', says Djokovic

Seven-up: Novak Djokovic poses with his trophy after defeating Nick Kyrgios in the 2022 final for his seventh Wimbledon title (Adrian DENNIS)
Seven-up: Novak Djokovic poses with his trophy after defeating Nick Kyrgios in the 2022 final for his seventh Wimbledon title (Adrian DENNIS)

Novak Djokovic said Saturday it would not have been "correct" to miss Wimbledon despite having undergone knee surgery just over three weeks ago.

The 37-year-old Serb, who is looking to equal Roger Federer's record of eight Wimbledon titles and become the oldest champion of the modern era, said he was driven by his "incredible desire to play and compete".

Djokovic needed surgery to repair the damaged meniscus in his right knee after being injured at the French Open earlier this month.

He was forced to withdraw before his quarter-final and hasn't played since.

"I do have something that is described as a feeling of not missing out at a Grand Slam while I can still play and while I'm still active and at this level," said Djokovic.

"I wouldn't call it a fear of missing out. I would just say it's this incredible desire to play, just to compete.

"Particularly because it is Wimbledon, the tournament that always has been a dream tournament for me when I was a kid. Just the thought of me missing Wimbledon was just not correct. I didn't want to deal with that."

Djokovic arrives in London without a title to his name this season.

He has seen 22-year-old Jannik Sinner take his Australian Open crown as well as his world number one ranking.

Carlos Alcaraz, who deposed him as Wimbledon champion 12 months ago, succeeded him as French Open champion earlier this month.

"I'm confident about the health of my knee and just general physical state is really good," said the Serb who is chasing a 25th Grand Slam title.

"I haven't had any setback. If I had one setback, I would be then questioning whether I should be here or not. But I haven't had a single one. Why not give it a shot?"

Alcaraz has been impressed by what he's seen of Djokovic just 24 days after going under the knife.

The Spaniard on Saturday described Djokovic as "superhuman".

But the Serb said he was inspired by Taylor Fritz, the American player who was back on court 21 days after requiring similar knee surgery in 2021.

Fritz suffered his injury at the French Open and needed a wheelchair to help him off court.

After surgery, he returned at Wimbledon and made the third round.

"I think Taylor Fritz is a superhuman," insisted Djokovic.

"His situation really gave me optimism that I can make it, too.

"Three weeks is just making the cut, so to say. It's not ideal maybe in the eyes of the doctors and specialists that would normally tell you it's normally between three and six weeks.

"But it's also individual. It's very subjective. Everyone has a different response to the recovery."