Novak Djokovic is through to his 12th Australian Open quarter-final, passing two significant obstacles in Taylor Fritz and Milos Raonic to remain on the title course. Novak needed five sets and a lot of energy to beat the young American in the third round, winning the opening two sets before experiencing an abdomen injury at the beginning of the third.
Causing him many troubles while moving and hitting from his forehand wing, Djokovic had struggled a lot before the pills started to work, playing better since the fourth set's early stages and dominating Fritz in the decider with a double break for the place in the next round.
After the match, Djokovic mentioned a torn muscle and felt mighty concerned about the rest of the tournament, not sure would he be able to step on the court against the Canadian.
Novak Djokovic is struggling with abdomen injury.
After skipping the practice session on the previous day, Novak entered Rod Laver Arena on Sunday and defeated Raonic in four sets to advance into the quarters.
Not playing at his best in the opening two sets, Djokovic failed to break Raonic's serve and still won the first in the tie break, which was very important for him. Right from the start, it was clear that Djokovic didn't tear a muscle, playing well enough to hang in there and shifting into a higher gear in sets three and four to grab three breaks and extend his perfect record over Raonic.
As was easily anticipated, many players were not happy with how Novak had recovered in such a short time, saying that it couldn't be a torn muscle, as the Serb had earlier suggested. Rafael Nadal's former coach and uncle Toni Nadal stated that Novak's recovery came over the night, despite thinking about withdrawing from the tournament.
"Alongside Rafa, Novak Djokovic is also dealing with an injury, managing to beat Milos Raonic and reach the quarters. What surprises me is that Novak almost thought about withdrawing, and then the injury disappeared over the night.
I will not question whether his pain is legitimate or not; that's a common thing among the athletes. But, he probably hides them more moderate than he should," Toni Nadal said.