Although he may not be the top-ranked player on the ATP World Tour, Serbian star Novak Djokovic arrives at SW19 as the top seed, where he will begin his campaign for a second title against Andrey Golubev. This marks the third time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series 2-0. All his victories took place on hard court.
Apart from getting married, Djokovic has lacked activity over the past month. He has not taken part in any professional contests ahead of the Championships, which is unlike the remainder of his companions in the ‘Big Four.’ The 2011 Champion is also the runner-up from last season, where he lost to Andy Murray to allow the Brit to end a 77-year drought of British male singles champions at the event. This time around, Djokovic will be looking to reach the finish line ahead, and also win his first Grand Slam of the season, particularly after his disappointing loss to Nadal in the French Open final a few weeks ago.
While Djokovic is surprised about his boosted seeding, he is excited to prove the officials correct in their decision.
“A little bit [surprised] to be honest. I appreciate the respect that I get from the Wimbledon tournament – I always tried to perform my best tennis in this tournament. I dreamt to win, which happened in 2011. I had some success there, many semi-finals and finals, and it may have affected the decision. It’s a responsibility, an extra pressure if I can say it like that.”
It should also be noted that Djokovic withdrew from his regular pre-Wimbledon exhibition event at The Boodles, and while it was revealed to be a pre-caution for his wrist, it is still something to consider when the top seed arrives on court.
Andrey Golubev is riding a three-match losing streak on the ATP World Tour stretching back to his loss to Mikhail Youzhny at the Rome Masters. He would lose to Andy Murray in his Roland Garros opener, and would follow up with a loss to Bernard Tomic in his first and only match on grass so far this season.
This is the third time that Djokovic and Golubev will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Serbian star remaining undefeated at 2-0. His most recent win was back in 2012, and both took place at Indian Wells. While this is their first time on grass, Djokovic will still holds a sizeable advantage.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets