Novak Djokovic has certainly been a different player since winning the 2016 French Open. The problems seemed to start at about this time last season when he crashed out of the Wimbledon 2016 draw to Sam Querrey in the third round. Great results have not been common for Djokovic in the last 52 weeks on tour. Perhaps his fans should not expect much at Wimbledon 2017 as the World No. 4 contests the 2017 Eastbourne draw this week.

Djokovic's first match delayed by rain

Djokovic had a match scheduled for Tuesday at ATP Eastbourne, one that was to be played against Canada's Vasek Pospisil.

However, rain interrupted the match before play was suspended for the day at the 250-level event. That means that Djokovic's schedule will become condensed in the days ahead, provided that he stays alive in the tournament.

If Djokovic does well in Eastbourne this week, then it could actually be viewed as bad when it comes to succeeding at Wimbledon 2017. To a very large extent, the top players on tour do not participate in the tournaments that are played immediately ahead of majors.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray are all resting, and usually, Djokovic would be resting this close to a Grand Slam too. They do it to help ensure that energy levels and physical preparedness are at their peaks as they look to do major damage in the biggest tournaments.

Djokovic risks Wimbledon run

The final for Eastbourne, which is known as the Aegon International tournament, will be played on Saturday, July 1st. If Djokovic is in the final, then he will need to play four matches over the next four days.

The format is only best of three in Eastbourne, but those matches can still last for a few hours if they feature long deuce games or tiebreakers.

With Wimbledon 2017 scheduled to start on July 3rd, it's possible that Djokovic might be a tired man when it comes time to contest the best-of-five-set matches that are to be played at the All England Club.

It may sound a little counter-intuitive, but Djokovic dropping a match in the round of sixteen or in the quarterfinals at Eastbourne might be a blessing in disguise.

His draw this week is through Pospisil and then either Donald Young or Jared Donaldson. After that who Djokovic might play is a matter of speculation.

However, Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey share a path to the final with Djokovic. On the bottom half of the draw, there are a lot of tough players, including John Isner, Richard Gasquet, Kevin Anderson, and Gael Monfils. Eastbourne isn't exactly a walk in the park this year and if the competition takes a bite out of Djokovic, don't expect much from the Serb in the upcoming grass-court Grand Slam.