x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Djokovic break is well deserved in stellar year

Djokovic cited a sore knee as the reason for his not playing in the singles competition, and if he won Wimbledon in spite of an achy joint one wonders how dominant he might be when he actually is feeling fit.

The Year of Novak rolls on. The new world No 1 wins even when he isn't playing, a fairly strong indication that everything is breaking in his favour.

Serbia advanced to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup over the weekend. Novak Djokovic played one match, in doubles, and lost, but Janko Tipsarevic carried the Serbs to a 3-1 victory in Sweden and into a semi-final date with Argentina.

Djokovic cited a sore knee as the reason for his not playing in the singles competition, and if he won Wimbledon in spite of an achy joint one wonders how dominant he might be when he actually is feeling fit.

Petra Kvitova, the women's Wimbledon champion, also seemed beaten down by the experience and pulled out of the Gastein Open this week in Vienna, citing a muscle injury.

Djokovic will rest up for most of the rest of July before crossing the Atlantic to prepare for the US Open, where he will be favoured to capture his third grand slam championship of 2011.

His chances of winning the tournament are only enhanced by his hard-earned No 1 ranking; Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be on the other side of the bracket, and Djokovic cannot meet both.

By taking time off, Djokovic removes a little edge off the sport for a month, but 47 victories in 48 matches would seem to entitle him to a bit of a holiday.

"He's earned it," said Federer. The Swiss was referring to No 1, but it also applies to a short break in The Year of Novak.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae