MELBOURNE: Defending champion Novak Djokovic faces a health battle to proceed within the Australian Open after struggling what he described as a “muscle tear” throughout a five-set win over Taylor Fritz on Friday.
The 33-year-old, in search of a record-extending ninth title in Melbourne, was cruising after profitable the opening two units of his third-round conflict however a slip at 1-1 within the third set nearly derailed his progress.
Djokovic disappeared off Rod Laver Area for therapy and wanted additional consideration throughout the third set.
His hopes regarded forlorn when Fritz gained units three and 4 however the 17-time Grand Slam winner confirmed nice resolve to dominate the decider with some beautifully correct serving and groundstrokes.

His 7-6(1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 win was his 78th profession match victory on the Australian Open however whether or not or not he can go for quantity 79 in opposition to Milos Raonic on Sunday is uncertain.
“Proper now I am — nicely, I do know it is a tear, positively, of the muscle,” Djokovic mentioned of the problem on his proper aspect and which he mentioned left him unable to maneuver or rotate initially.

“So I do not know if I am going to handle to recuperate from that in lower than two days. I do not know I will step out on to the courtroom or not. I’m simply very pleased with this achievement tonight. Let’s have a look at what occurs.”
Djokovic was helped by a break in play halfway by the fourth set, at round 11.30pm native time, when the followers contained in the Rod Laver Area have been instructed to depart to adjust to Melbourne’s new five-day COVID-19 lockdown which was attributable to begin at midnight.
Though he nonetheless misplaced the fourth set he was in a position to transfer extra freely within the fifth set by which he dropped solely 5 factors on his serve and struck 13 winners.
Djokovic had been riled by the boisterous crowd earlier within the match however after a brief break in play to permit disgruntled followers to go for the exits, he revelled within the calm environment.
“I used to be simply going for my pictures. I used to be hitting two first serves, and it labored,” he mentioned.
“Clearly with the unhealthy information that we received at present, all people knew that midnight goes to be the deadline. In a manner it is unlucky for the gang that we did not end the match with them seeing the top. They have been having fun with it, definitely.
“Possibly a bit too loud at sure moments.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here