Novak Djokovic in major Wimbledon update as confusion erupts over Andy Murray's participation

The tennis superstars are battling to be fit for the iconic grand slam.

Novak Djokovic has arrived at Wimbledon amid a wave of uncertainty around whether he will compete after undergoing knee surgery. Djokovic is not the only men's tennis star under a massive injury cloud, with confusion reigning over the status of Andy Murray, following initial reports the two-time champion at the All England Club has been forced to withdraw from the tournament.

The ATP Tour reported on Sunday that the 37-year-old was "sadly out of Wimbledon" after undergoing back surgery the previous day. But the post on the official page of the men's tennis body was swiftly deleted and the Brit's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith later revealed that the 37-year-old had not made a decision about whether he was going to compete or not.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both under injury clouds heading into Wimbledon. Pic: X/Getty
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both under injury clouds heading into Wimbledon. Pic: X/Getty

"He obviously went through a procedure yesterday and you have to wait and see now," Smith said on BBC TV. "My understanding is no decision has been made and let's hope for the best for Andy." The ATP's initial tweet came off the back of a report from The Telegraph that claimed Murray would not be able to compete after having surgery on a spinal cyst over the weekend.

That came after Murray was forced to retire from his second-round match in sad scenes at Queen's last week, with the Telegraph reporting that Murray's surgery was set to sideline him for six weeks. "This has come from one source and had a knock-on effect, a lot of people are reporting it but that's not my understanding," Smith said about the misleading reports that Murray was withdrawing from Wimbledon.

Murray's camp has not confirmed his withdrawal and it's understood he'll wait and see how his recovery progresses over the next few days before making a decision about his participation at Wimbledon, which begins next Monday. The Briton has yet to give up hope of making a farewell appearance at this year's tournament ahead of a possible retirement after the Olympic Games tennis competition in Paris, which begins 13 days after Wimbledon finishes.

There is also huge uncertainty around seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic, who is battling to be ready after undergoing recent knee surgery. Djokovic was pictured training at Wimbledon after arriving at The All England club, and was seen sporting a huge compression bandage over his right knee and a sleeve on his right arm.

Djokovic withdrew from the French Open after his fourth-round victory over Francisco Cerundolo, having torn the the medial meniscus in his right knee. He had surgery in Paris less than three weeks ago and is racing the clock to be fit for Wimbledon, with the Serb also hoping to play at the Olympics in Paris too.

Seen here, Novak Djokovic at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic underwent surgery on a right knee injury in Paris after withdrawing during the French Open. Pic: Getty

Djokovic has posted two optimistic videos on Instagram using an exercise bike and doing leg weights in the gym, as well as running, lunging and going through his service routine. “We keep building day by day,” he posted to his 14.6 million followers. Djokovic lost to Carlos Alcaraz in a thrilling five-set Wimbledon final last year and has reached the decider at The All England Club the last five years - winning four titles there since 2018.

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“My love for this sport is strong and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going," Djokovic posted recently. "I’m going to do my best to be healthy and fit to return to the court as soon as possible." Djokovic has been encouraged by American rival Taylor Fritz, who suffered the same injury at the French Open three years ago and recovered to make the third round at Wimbledon.

Fritz revealed at Queen’s Club last week that Djokovic had been in touch. “I told him what it was like for me. A lot of it comes down to the inflammation and how you react,” Fritz told reporters. "When I did it, I couldn't even walk. People are different. You pretty much have your full strength immediately. It's more just the inflammation from the surgery. As long as you can get that down and start playing without it puffing up again, you're going to be fine to play."

with agencies