In the practice match, the mystery of Novak Djokovic’s injury deepened
Novak Djokovic revealed the injury that interrupted his training session with Daniil Medvedev and said he finished the shot as a precaution.
Djokovic’s physical condition has sparked fresh concerns after the Australian Open favorite received several medical treatments during Wednesday’s practice match.
The practice session – which was Djokovic’s first at Melbourne Park since being kicked out of the country ahead of last year’s Open – was supposed to last 75 minutes, but Djokovic left after 36 minutes.
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Speaking about his retirement, Djokovic said he was dealing with a hamstring problem he did not want to aggravate just days before the first Grand Slam of the season.
“Those are the joints I struggled with last week in Adelaide,” he told 9News Melbourne on Wednesday.
“I could feel him shooting and I didn’t want to risk anything worse. I played a decoration and apologized to him (Medvedev) and he understood. I want to avoid big fears ahead of the Australian Open.”
The current world No. 5 beat Medvedev in the first match, but when he took a 3-2 lead, he demanded treatment from a member of his team.
The former Russian world No. 1 won the next two games before Djokovic recovered from the break as he led 4-3 and again at 5-4.
After Medvedev won the first set after one game, he withdrew from the match.
Djokovic won the Adelaide International title on Sunday after defeating Medvedev in the semi-finals on Sunday.
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The 21-time Grand Slam champion was embarrassed in Adelaide, clutching his leg and testing his range of motion several times before defeating the Russian.
Medvedev thought he was taking advantage of Djokovic’s injury on Saturday, taunting his opponent by grabbing his left hamstring and jumping.
Djokovic played down his fears in an on-court interview.
“Luckily, it wasn’t anything too serious,” the 35-year-old said.
“If that was the case, I wouldn’t be able to go on. So I just tried a medical timeout and a little inflammation and I was done…
“I think the longer the match went on, the warmer my tendon got and the less it bothered me.”
Djokovic was warned by his children
However, speaking after his victory on Sunday, Djokovic admitted he had worked “until late at night” to get his legs ready for the final.
“There were a few times in the game when I felt a muscle strain, but nothing that worried me about my performance,” he said.
The clause issue casts doubt on whether Djokovic will be on court for Friday’s scheduled practice match against Nick Kyrgios, a contest that sold out in less than an hour on Tuesday.
The Serbian superstar is seeded No. 4 in the Australian Open men’s singles draw, while last year’s champion Rafael Nadal is this year’s No. 1 seed.
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