Novak Djokovic injured his left hamstring shortly before the start of the Australian Open. The Serbian champion still won the title in Adelaide, but he didn't show up in Melbourne in perfect condition. The former world number 1, who is hunting for his tenth 'Down Under' seal, suffered some problems in the first three rounds of the Happy Slam, and then unleashed a screaming performance against Alex de Minaur in the round of 16.
The 35-year-old from Belgrade got rid of the landlord without difficulty, who was largely powerless in front of him. The next obstacle on Nole's path is the name of Andrey Rublev, who somewhat surprisingly eliminated Holger Rune.
It is useless to reiterate that 'Djoker' is the big favorite to win the title, even more so after the eliminations of Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. In a lengthy interview with Wide World of Sports, Australian legend Todd Woodbridge questioned the extent of Djokovic's injury to his left leg.
Woodbridge reflects on Djokovic's injury
"It looks a bit dodgy between points but once Novak Djokovic starts running there is absolutely no problem with how he is moving. I'm not saying it's gamesmanship, it's pretty obvious he has a bit of a niggle, but at times it looks like it's about to snap off, so he's playing it up nicely here and there, but you know, that's Novak," Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports.
"Novak uses that type of energy to focus, to fire up and we've seen him use the crowd in the same way sometimes. And that's just the way he does it and we've been watching it for a long time now," he opined. Novak Djokovic's former coach and German tennis great Boris Becker has come out in his defense: "Sometimes you think he's bluffing or can't finish the game," Boris Becker told Eurosport.
"It's a bit of heaven and hell. That also makes it difficult for the opponent. But Novak wouldn't behave like that if he had nothing. I've known him for a long time and I know that he has problems with his thigh," the German stated.
"Novak is now going for the quick points," Becker highlighted. "That starts with the serve, because he's also taking more risks on the second. In the rallies he tried to dominate with his forehand. It was an interesting match, with ups and downs. Dimitrov had what it takes to beat Djokovic, but he was better in the decisive moments," he added.