World No. 1 Novak Djokovic claimed there was no particular preparation for the Milos Raonic match as his only goal was to be able to play. Djokovic, who was hampered by a strain issue during his third round match, overcame Raonic in four sets 7-6 (4) 4-6 6-1 6-4 to reach the quarterfinal at the Australian Open.
"There was no preparation for this match. I used every hour I had since the last match to recover. To put myself in a position where I had a possibility to compete. My physio did a great job," Djokovic said after the match, per George Bellshaw.
"I was definitely fitter in the past. That's as much as I can say. I'm taking each day at a time. For me, more than training is recovery right now. To, again, put myself in a good condition to compete in the next match."
Djokovic decided to continue the tournament
After beating Raonic, Djokovic admitted that he would have withdrawn from the tournament if it hadn't been a Grand Slam. "If it's any other tournament than a Grand Slam, I would withdraw from the event, that's for sure.
But I want to give my best to try and recover and get on the court. I didn't know before I finished my warm-up whether I was going to play or not," Djokovic said. "When it warmed up, it was fine. During the match it was kind of on and off.
It's not ideal but I cannot complain. I won the match against a great player. Hopefully it's going to be even better in two days." Djokovic, who claimed a record eighth Australian Open title after beating Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open final last year, will fight against Alexander Zverev for a place in the semifinal. It remains to be seen how fit will Djokovic be against Zverev.