Novak Djokovic's opponent Alexandre Muller opens up on battling Crohn's disease

Muller, 26, had a story to tell ahead of his US Open match against Djokovic.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic's opponent Alexandre Muller opens up on battling Crohn's disease
© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Alexandre Muller admits managing Crohn's disease and being a pro tennis player is "not that easy" as the Frenchman reveals he is taking an injection every two weeks to manage the disease. Muller, 26, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease - a chronic inflammatory bowel disease - when he was 14.

At the time, the diagnosis was devastating for Muller, who was hoping to become a pro tennis player one day. 12 years later, Muller is a pro tennis player and he is set to face Novak Djokovic in the US Open first round on Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I was just a little bit sick.

I went to the doctor, and he gave me some medicine. I was quite young — 14 years old is young — so I kept it to myself for one year. But it was like an inflammation. So after one year, the inflammation was so big and I couldn't move anymore.

I lost maybe 10 kilos. When I came back to my parents for the weekend, during the night, they heard the toilet like 50 times. So they said, ‘Okay, there is something wrong.’ So I went to the hospital, I did all the exams and everything and they said okay, it's Crohn's disease," Muller told the ATP website.

Muller: Every two weeks an injection for the rest of my life

At one point, Muller was advised by the doctors to stop tennis or any sporting activities. But Muller didn't want to just end his tennis dreams. “It was not easy because the doctor told me if I wanted to be in good shape, I needed to stop tennis and sports in general.

Not [playing] the sport, but when you're a professional tennis player, you practise every day, so it's very hard. I needed to stop it. I stopped training for maybe two months, I took a lot of cortisone. It's the process with this disease.

So now I'm trying to manage it. I need to do an injection to myself every two weeks, all my life. So it's not that easy, but I'm trying to manage it," Muller said.

Novak Djokovic Alexandre Muller Us Open