Novak Djokovic once again managed to outdo himself in the third round match against Taylor Fritz. The Serbian champion, during the third set, got injured by slipping on the Melbourne sign and requested the intervention of the physiotherapist several times.
Despite the pain and the two consecutive sets lost, Djokovic didn't give up, he stayed on his feet and found a way to win one of the most complicated games of his career. Only in the fifth and decisive set did the Belgrade give some signs of recovery, but the injury does not seem to be light and could force him to retire before the next match.
“First off, I want to congratulate Taylor on the great fight, I'm sorry he lost today. I tried to stay there and hope that whatever happened, I would feel better as time went on. Towards the end of the fourth set I felt better, but in the third and fourth sets I only served, I couldn't do much in response”, explained Djokovic after the victory.
“This is one of the most special victories of my life, especially in these conditions; I believe I will never forget it. I don't want to talk about the intensity of the pain, people don't understand how it feels on the pitch.
At the beginning of the third set, when I called the medical time out, in my head I was thinking of retiring, because I couldn't move. I couldn't rotate, I couldn't answer. The service got me out of trouble. I think it's a tear, I had that kind of feeling in a response before I left the pitch.
I immediately realized that something unpleasant was happening and the physiotherapist confirmed it for me. Next game? Let's see, I don't know. I don't have much experience with this type of injury. I don't know what will happen and if I will be able to take the field.
I am very proud of what I did today and we will see what happens tomorrow." In a recent interview, Diego Schwartzman has explained why it is so hard to take on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Grand Slams events.
Schwartzman has faced the Big Three on 20 occasions but he has only come out on top once - against Nadal at the Italian Open last year.
Schwartzman on facing the Big 3
"It's different playing against Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, these guys," Diego Schwartzman said.
"It's not easy playing them in five sets because you have to play your best tennis maybe for three, four hours, five hours. It's not easy. It's not easy," he told reporters. "Physically it's very hard.
Mentally it's very hard. To improve and to beat the best guys on tour, you have to play them and you have to beat them. They are really different, even if you see the food from Nole, the food from Rafa and Roger. And how they play on court; one likes to play on clay, one on grass... they are different. They have one leftie, one aggressive and one sliding like Novak."