Novak Djokovic recently won his ninth title at the Australian Open, the third in a row, which allowed him to hit the bulletin board with the 18th Grand Slam of his amazing career. Although yet another triumph at Melbourne Park allowed him to narrow the gap between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it was above all the abdominal injury of the number 1 in the world that was discussed.
The 33-year-old from Belgrade had reported a tear during the third round match against Taylor Fritz, a diagnosis that many considered exaggerated given that Nole was able to continue playing. Djokovic's condition improved with the passing of the rounds, up to the extraordinary performances offered by the Serbian in the last two acts.
The victory in the final over Daniil Medvedev reaffirmed Novak's superiority on the Happy Slam fields, as well as having inflicted a hard blow on the hopes of the Next Gen. Djokovic is also already certain to break the all-time record of weeks at the top of the ATP ranking next March 8th.
The well-known journalist and writer Steve Flink has defended Nole from the recent criticism of him.
The inevitable Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal comparison
“Novak Djokovic was in pain, there’s no doubt in my mind.
He would wince of when we would finish his stroke after the point" - Steve Flink said. In contrast, Djokovic surprised everyone with his agility and flexibility in the semifinal against Aslan Karatsev. He not only dominated the Russian but delivered his bets performance of the tournament until that point.
The American agreed, “It wasn’t until the semifinal that we saw the difference of how much better he was moving and how much he seemed to look physically”. Still, many believe that it’s not possible to win a Major while carrying an injury, to which the American reported said that the break before the final worked in Djokovic’s favor.
“He also was fortunate,” Flink said. “Two days off before the final was the best thing that could happen to him to let the injury heal a little bit more”. Flink affirmed that nobody would have been doubtful and skeptical in such a case about Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
In addition to that, he even highlighted Rafa’s back injury that he had sustained just as the ATP Cup kicked off. “Like Rafa with the back, nobody questions him about the back and they shouldn’t. But I think Djokovic deserves the benefit of the doubt,” the American said.