Novak Djokovic: 'I Thought I Would Not Be Able To Play'

‘I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play’

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is in his 15th round in Melbourne. However, the top seed had to contend with three opponents and a hamstring injury he suffered in Adelaide.. Djokovic was unsure about playing the Australian Open, with his left leg causing a lot of problems.

However, he battled three opponents to stay in contention, hoping for a better run against Alex de Minaur. Novak felt good against Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, delivering a bagel in the third set and marching over the top.

The Serb missed his chances in the second set against Enzo Couacaud, losing them on the tiebreaker before taking charge and taking home the win. The real test came in the third round, and Novak came through despite an obvious struggle.

Djokovic required a medical time-out in a 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov in three hours and six minutes. Both players had more winners than unforced errors, and Grigor was more aggressive. Djokovic delivered five breaks and lost serve three times to emerge on top and set up the clash against Alex de Minaur.

Novak prevailed in the opener and gave his best in the next two sets to seal the deal and preserve energy ahead of another challenging duel.

Novak Djokovic struggled through injury against Grigor Dimitrov.

«I made a good start in all three games, feeling good.

However, the leg started to get worse after a few movements, and the pills didn’t always work either. It was a roller coaster. Dealing with my opponent and an injury requires a lot of mental and physical strength, but it is what it is.

I am thankful for being able to play. Before the tournament, I thought that would not be possible. I’m still here and I’m still holding on. I felt good against Grigor initially. Then he went up and down with my leg. I found a way to win an exciting match after more than three hours.

We could have gone the distance if he had dropped one of these sets and played for God knows how long. We’ve already had a few 5+ hour matches during this tournament, and this seemed to be another one. I am very lucky to check in two sets.

I didn’t want to withdraw from the tournament because I wanted to see how it would feel on the court. The first match was good, and I struggled a lot in the second. I had some terrible moments against Grigor, but I survived and came through.. I don’t know what awaits me in the next match, but I hope for the best,» said Novak Djokovic.

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