“He could win Wimbledon and still…” John McEnroe expresses his frustration with Novak Djokovic not being able to play in the USA

John McEnroe talks about Novak Djokovic's nightmare 2022 season.

Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe
Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe

Novak Djokovic hasn’t had any share of luck this season. Due to various political and social reasons, he had to suffer a lot and it looks like he will have to suffer at the end of the season too. Djokovic wasn’t allowed to defend the Australian Open title earlier this year due to his vaccination status and had to miss the Indian Wells and Miami Masters too due to the same reason.

He had a very average clay season according to his standards where he won the Rome Masters but bowed out of the quarterfinals of the French Open to Rafael Nadal. At Wimbledon too, he won’t be able to defend his 2000 points after ATP snubbed ranking points to take a stand against Wimbledon banning Russian players.

To add to misery, Djokovic isn’t allowed to enter the USA and hence will have to miss the American hard court swing. He thus will miss the US Open and will lose 1200 ranking points. John McEnroe, in a talk with BBC spoke about how difficult the situation is for Djokovic going ahead.

He said that Djokovic has been tough all through his playing career be it any circumstance and the lauded the mental strength he has shown over the years despite having his back against the wall.

“I think that Novak has not yet gotten over the situation in which he found himself. Novak is tough, he had many, many occasions where he had to deal with a crowd that is not on his side against the other two greats, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, but he is there, with them, which says something about his mental strength,” McEnroe said.

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‘I don’t think he was able to deal with the consequences’: John McEnroe on Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

But McEnroe said that the last few months were very unexpected and he doesn’t think Djokovic will be able to deal with the consequences. McEnroe believes that this will have a mental effect on Djokovic in the longer run and signs have started to come.

“But nobody could have expected what happened in the last months. I don’t think he was able to deal with the consequences, even though he stood by his conviction and the decision he made. The bottom line is, I can’t imagine that all this hasn’t affected him in a big way and because of that he probably didn’t train enough, so he looked a little out of shape for his standards in Monte Carlo,” he said.

The American legend further said that Djokovic arriving at Roland Garros without playing the Australian Open didn’t help him and now at Wimbledon, the pressure will be on him to catch up with Rafael Nadal. And McEnroe added that even if he wins Wimbledon, he will drop down very badly in the rankings in the coming months due to his absence in the American swing which is a shame.

“I think that the fact that he arrived there without playing a Grand Slam match since the previous US Open caught up with him at Roland Garros. Now it’s all intensified, I assume that before Wimbledon he has further increased the pressure on himself, especially if he won’t be able to play in New York. He could win Wimbledon and in a few months be the 40th tennis player in the world because he can’t play in the USA. That’s crazy! That is sad!” he said.

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