Novak Djokovic took a walk at Melbourne's Brighton Beach on Monday, carrying his beloved Australian Open trophy with him. Novak claimed his ninth Australian Open title on Sunday to extend his legacy on Rod Laver Arena and take another step towards Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the GOAT race.
In the title match, Novak toppled Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, producing his marvelous returns that took all the power away from the young opponent who competed on a high level to reach the second Major final. Djokovic had to work harder than ever before to claim the Melbourne trophy, enduring four consecutive tight matches and dealing with a torn muscle since the third round's clash against Taylor Fritz.
The Serb got injured at the beginning of the third set and had struggled until the early stages of the fourth, when the medicines started to work. Novak prevailed in five sets and wasn't sure would he step on the court against Milos Raonic in the next round, taking an MRI and skipping his practice sessions.
As it turned out, Novak did enough to beat Milos in four sets and endure another challenging encounter against Alexander Zverev in the quarters, spending over 13 hours on the court in the previous four matches. Preserving enough energy for the final two tests, Novak played well against Karatsev and Medvedev to defend the crown and lift the 18th Major.
Novak Djokovic spoke about his muscle tear injury on Monday.
Speaking on Monday after another MRI, Djokovic revealed that the tear has grown from 1,7 cm to 2,5 cm, announcing he has to take a couple of weeks off to heal and fully recover.
Alongside his 18th Major title, Djokovic has secured another record, passing Roger Federer's 310 weeks as world no. 1 on March 8 and achieving another massive milestone in his already glorious career. "It's bigger than what it was when it happened when I did the first MRI after the third round.
It's not too bad, judging by what the doctors said, but I will have to take some time off to heal. The tear is bigger. It's 2,5 cm, and it started at 1,7 cm. They will always question anything I say or anything I do, and that's fine; I just accept the fact that I can't please everyone.
Does it frustrate me? Of course. I have feelings like anybody else. I don't enjoy when someone judges or criticizes me. At the same time, I accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion," Novak Djokovic said.