‘Novak Djokovic would choose Olympic gold over three Grand Slams’, says former world No 4

‘novak djokovic would choose olympic gold over three grand slams’, says former world no 4

Novak Djokovic celebrates with his bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics

Greg Rusedski believes the 2024 Olympic Games is by far the number one priority for Novak Djokovic and feels the Serbian would risk competing in Paris at “85, 90%”.

The former world No 4 suggested Djokovic would even choose winning an Olympic gold medal over three more Grand Slam titles.

It remains unclear when Djokovic will next play as he continues to work his way back to fitness following the meniscus tear he sustained in his win against Francisco Cerundolo at the French Open on June 5. He underwent surgery shortly after withdrawing from Roland Garros.

The 37-year-old faces a tough task to be ready for the 2024 Wimbledon Championships, which will begin in just over a week on July 1.

Following Wimbledon, the tennis event at the 2024 Paris Olympics will be held from July 27 to August 4 at Stade Roland Garros. The Serbian has repeatedly stressed that this year’s Games is a huge priority for him as he aims to secure a first gold medal.

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Speaking on the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast, Rusedski argued Djokovic will place a huge emphasis on competing for the Olympic title.

“Olympics is gonna be tough, no question about it,” Rusedski said. “That’s where the medical team is gonna be having to do their magic. I mean look at that Australian Open he won with a stomach tear, how did he do that? Just superhuman.

“And I know the driver for this year for Novak. If you say to Novak, ‘Another Major or three Majors or Olympic gold, what’s more important here?’ Olympic gold is by far number one in his catalogue.

“So I think he’s gonna try to give that all his efforts to be there. And if he has a shot, and his team and his doctor and people around him say, ‘Okay, we can manage this and you’ll be at 85, 90%’, I think he’s gonna risk it.

“He’s gonna have to wait another four years to achieve that dream of his to put Olympic gold around his neck. And if he doesn’t get that sort of, right off from his team, I think he’s smart enough to wait until New York for the US Open.”

The 1997 US Open runner-up also highlighted the importance of Djokovic playing with passion and feels the Serbian showcased this at Roland Garros.

“Well, the thing which was a shame was he was getting it back in Paris, he made some changes in his team, he’d gone it alone,” Rusedski continued. “And those epic matches that he won early in the morning, we saw that old fire back.

“When I watch Novak and he’s quiet, I don’t enjoy it. I have to see the passion, I have to see that little bit of anger out there, I like to see his box. He’s a guy who likes to see that motivation coming to him.

“And I think we haven’t seen the last of Novak, I think he’s coming back and those youngsters are gonna keep him motivated.

“Unless there’s something where he wants to spend more time at home with the family, which is understandable. But I think he wants to play a lot longer and I think he’s great for the game.”

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‘Novak Djokovic wants to play a lot longer – he’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen’

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