'Novak Djokovic probably hides them less than he should', says top coach

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'Novak Djokovic probably hides them less than he should', says top coach

It's no secret that last year hasn't been easy for Novak Djokovic from a public relations point of view, from the Adria Tour to his stance on vaccines, from the creation of the PTPA to the disqualification against Carreno Busta at the US Open.

During the weeks of the Australian swing, however, the controversy has focused on his requests to the local government to help the players in hard quarantine and, in the last few days, on the extent of the abdominal injury suffered against Taylor Fritz, an injury that remains a mystery.

, as Nole refused to make the diagnosis public. As for this different perception, Nole is now accustomed to it: "[O] never have I put my mind at peace from this point of view. I can't say that it doesn't bother me from time to time - obviously being unfairly represented in the media affects me.

I am a human being, I have feelings and therefore this as not pleases me. I wish I had a good relationship with [the media], but it seems that this is not always possible. I do everything possible to focus on positive things and positive articles."

Novak Djokovic’s recent abdominal injury has been the source of a great many debates in the tennis fraternity. And now, even Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni has joined the discussion.

Toni Nadal on Novak Djokovic's injury

While writing for El Pais, the 59-year-old expressed his surprise that Novak Djokovic once again seemed to have been cured of a potentially severe ailment in an incredibly short period.

"In the case of the Serbian, it is surprising that so repeatedly annoyances (physical ailments) come over him, to the point of sowing doubts about his permanence in the tournament, and then disappear overnight," Toni Nadal wrote.

Uncle Toni doesn't think Novak Djokovic is ever dishonest about having hurt himself, and he explained that injuries are part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. That said, Uncle Toni also reckons the Serb is more vocal than others about his ailments.

"I will not be the one who questions the veracity, something very common in an elite athlete," Toni added. "He probably hides them less than he should, a normal practice in the circuit." Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Karolina Muchova, Johanna Konta, Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta are some of the other players so far to have complained about an abdominal strain.

Berrettini was even forced to withdraw from the tournament, handing Stefanos Tsitsipas a walkover into the quarterfinals.