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Novak Djokovic and son Stefan Dokovic during a practice session on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 4, 2022. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Andy Roddick ‘more concerned’ about Novak Djokovic’s form than ‘in 15 years’ after ‘weird’ Italian Open exit

Novak Djokovic has not been at his best so far this season. The world No. 1 is yet to win a tournament and at the Italian Open lost in the third round to world no. 32 Alejandro Tabilo. Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick has given his view on Djokovic’s “concerning” form and whether he thinks he will “figure it out” for the French Open, Wimbledon and Paris Olympics.

Andy Roddick has raised concerns over Novak Djokovic’s form and has questioned whether the world No. 1 will rediscover his best level in time to win his key summer objectives.
In his most recent appearance at the Italian Open he was shocked in straight sets in the third round by world no. 32 Alejandro Tabilo.

‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ – Henman, Corretja back Djokovic to end slump at French Open

Former world No. 1 Roddick says there is still a chance Djokovic rises to the occasion at the French Open, which starts on May 26 live on Eurosport and discovery+, but the signs aren’t there yet.
Speaking on the Served with Roddick podcast, Roddick said: “There are two things: one, he could figure it out. The good thing about Slams is you are not playing guys that are 25 in the world first round, you have time and can get through some ugly matches. So maybe he gets through the first week and turns into Novak again.
“But I am more concerned about his tennis game than I have been in 15 years.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he played well at Roland Garros, but how long can we say ‘he will turn it around, he’s fine, he’s Novak’?
“I’ve been saying that the entire year. This one [in Rome] was weird. You have the ramp up, you look at the French Open, Wimbledon, he has said he is prioritising the Olympics. You felt like the ramp up was coming and that wasn’t a ramp up.”
Djokovic won his opening match in Rome but was then hit on the head afterwards by a water bottle.
He said after losing to Tabilo that he felt “completely different” and the incident might have impacted his performance.
But it is not just the display against Tabilo that Roddick pointed to when analysing Djokovic this season.
“It’s a weird moment,” said Roddick.
“I am not one to get carried away with a given result but on a six-month sample size he got beat pretty good against Sinner [at the Australian Open], lost to Demon [Alex de Minaur] 6-4 6-4 at the United Cup, which is a straightforward win in professional tennis, loses to [Luca] Nardi at Indian Wells which is strange, he goes all that way, 10 days of prep, the whole thing, and then loses.
“And in Monte Carlo he makes the semis which for the rest of us dummies is like the best result I ever had on a Masters 1000 on clay, but he loses to [Casper] Ruud, had never lost a set to Ruud before that match, but more concerning was struggling with breathing, his match against Demon he was struggling for air, early in matches.
“Then he comes to Rome and there’s ‘bottlegate’ and only he can tell us how he feels about that. Then he goes out and kind of lays an egg against Tabilo, who is a good player but not Novak Djokovic.”
Djokovic has played just five tournaments this season as he continues trim his schedule and prioritise the biggest events.
He will lose the world No. 1 ranking to Sinner at the French Open unless he makes the final of the Grand Slam, where he is defending champion.
“I am concerned about form,” added Roddick.
“It seems there are weird situations and maybe it’s just proving that even with time someone like Novak still needs a consistent cadence of tennis. I don’t know you can show up all the time on short rest and have it work out every time, no matter how great you are.
“Then I’m like ‘OK, does that mean we are entitled to this greatness where he doesn’t need matches and we expect him to be the greatest forever?’”
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