Image source: Andy Cheung/Getty Images
Defending champion Novak Djokovic says he has little concern about the condition of the courts at Wimbledon this year despite 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Kevin Anderson.
“I seem to be having a really nice connection with the grass! I don’t recall falling this much in the first two matches at Wimbledon! I definitely had a very close contact with the grass in the first match and also in the second one. A few falls, maybe more than I would like.
“But I don’t think it’s about courts. Obviously it was raining for few days. Maybe first match under roof, the humidity affects the moist, the kind of surface of the grass, and it becomes a bit more slippery than in normal circumstances. But I think the fact that I didn’t play on grass courts for two years, the fact that I’m coming from several months of clay court that is a surface completely different in terms of movement and bounce and everything to the grass, the surface in which you slide at all times, I think I’m still adjusting my movement, adapting myself to this surface.
“It’s been, as I said, only two matches. Hopefully as the tournament progresses I’ll also fall less, even though I don’t mind falling more if the result is winning a match.”
Asked if Serena Williams’ retirement had played on his mind at all, Djokovic continued: “I’m not cautious of moving on this surface too much, to be honest. My movement is a lot of sliding, and I also slide on grass. Of course I have to adapt my movement to this surface.
“I didn’t have Serena’s retirement and Mannarino’s retirement in my head, to be honest, today, even though that’s very sad to see. I can’t speak on behalf of the other players, whether they feel the courts are maybe a bit more slippery than maybe previous years.
“For me, I think it’s my movement that is probably a bit more aggressive and dynamic first steps, change of directions, that I’ve carried on from the clay court season to grass. As I said, the more matches you play, because practice session and practice sets and official match is completely different, with nerves and everything. Of course, you’re going to tend to fall slightly more in official matches. That’s all really.”