Having returned to the tour after an elbow injury, which resulted in surgery, Novak Djokovic is attempting to re-discover he previous form.
Early exits at some tour events haulted his return up the rankings. The Serbian former World #1 had struggled to complete enough matches to return to the top.
Entering Roland Garros 2018, Djokovic was ranked as #22 in the world. This is his lowest ranking in over 11 years. In 2007, the Serbian was sitting at 15th in the official rankings.
Djokovic has lost only one set so far in this year’s French Open. Being taken to a tiebreak by Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spaniard took the second set of their third-round match. None of the matches have been particularly easy for the Serbian. Each match the former World #1 has battled through; however, glimpses of the “old” Djokovic are being seen.
Round of 16
In the Round of 16, the Serbian will take on Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard should not normally be a test for Djokovic. However Verdasco is seeded 30th whilst the Serbian is seeded 20th.
The match up should be another win for the Serbian, as Djokovic leads the head to head. Verdasco has not defeated the 20th seed since 2010 in Rome, but this was also on outdoor clay.
The Spaniard will fancy his chances against the returning Djokovic. Clay is the surface that the Spaniard has won the most titles on or been in the most finals. However, the Serbian will not be a pushover.
This match should be a great watch for the neutrals, and another test to see where Djokovic is on his return–especially with Verdasco coming into the match having dispatched the fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.
How far can Djokovic go?
If he can re-discover the previous form–and the Serbian is certainly starting to do that–Djokovic could reach the final and could be rewarded with a match against Rafael Nadal.
Nadal is the favourite to win the title again in Paris. Facing a resurgent Djokovic would be a test for both men and could be a fantastic final.
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