After taking some time off to spend a short few weeks with his growing family, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is set officially begin his grass court season at SW19, where he will contest a match-up against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber for the eighth time on the professional tour. The Serb leads the Head to Head with 6-1, with five straight victories in their most recent outings.
The last time Djokovic stepped on court to take part in a professional match was at the final of the 2015 French Open, where he lost to Stan Wawrinka in four sets to deny himself a career Grand Slam. Since then, he has refrained from competing in any ATP World Tour events but did find time to get some practice at The Boodies exhibition event at Stoke Park.
“I needed a little bit of time to regroup, to recharge my batteries, stay with the family, the little one and come here to London preparing for the biggest event in the world in our sport,” the 28-year-old said this week at the Boodles exhibition event.
Unlike his upcoming opponent, Kohlschreiber is coming off a couple of weeks on grass already, as he performed at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, where he lost to Gael Monfils in the quarter-final stage of the tournament and later in Halle, where he lost to eight-time champion Roger Federer in the opening round. He came quite close to winning the match and picking up his first ever win against the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
This marks the eighth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the series 6-1. Djokovic is 5-0 on hard court matches and 2-1 on clay against t the German, so this is going to be their first ever grass court meeting. Given that Djokovic is one of the overwhelming favourites of the tournament, this should be a straightforward match for the Serb, even though Kohlscheriber is a dangerous threat when in form.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets