Novak Djokovic is expected to make a final grass-court appearance prior to Wimbledon Championships. Accepting a wild-card entry at Eastbourne might seem an unusual way of handling things. On the other side, the Serb player is in a slump and the chance to add a few extra matches under his belt is something he should consider. The strange part of his schedule is that, for the first time over the last seven seasons, he will be playing an official ATP event between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. With the third Grand Slam of the year just ten days ahead, it might be the perfect timing for the Serb player to reignite the lost inner killer instinct.

Eastbourne is just a testing site

Competing in an Atp 250 event might have a different meaning for a lower-ranked player or to someone who is making the opening statement on a professional level. For a player like Djokovic is just a way to put things on the right track. Off balanced and lacking focus over the past few months, he has been struggling to regain the form of the previous season. From a total of 31 matches in 2017, Djokovic won 24 and lost 7. The ugliest part is not the ratio itself, is rather the lack of ability to win important matches. He has a single ATP title under his belt during a 6-months period. That poor record makes the act of sketching comparisons and weighing stones rather futile.

Given the circumstances, Eastbourne comes as a decent place to start over. The list of high-profiles entries includes players like John Isner, Gael Monfils, Feliciano Lopez or Steve Johnson.

The grass court schedule includes a variety of warm-up events, all of them basically revolving around Wimbledon. Last year, the grand stage at Wimbledon witnessed the start of Novak Djokovic's free falling.

It was the big American server Sam Querrey who pulled out the plug on Djokovic's spell. Twelve months later, the Serb and his seemingly unbreachable fortress are two distant memories. He is now ranked fourth in the world while the fall might not be over. The upcoming hardcourt season means another of defending work for Djokovic which puts Wimbledon as a crucial place for regaining stability.

There is a strange feeling on the grass courts this season

While the entire herd is making the last preps before the big show at Wimbledon, the ATP stars are making some unfortunate headlines. So far, the grass season seemed to be a place where no one is a clear favorite. No further than a few days ago, the stage at Queen's saw the first three seeds, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic, being knocked out in the same day. It might be just an issue of adaptability while they're changing from clay to grass or it could be one lucky door for some exiled stars like Djokovic. Even Federer got a fair share of bitterness last week in Stuttgart although the Swiss star seemed to regain confidence at the ongoing event in Halle.