Former doubles world number 1 Paul McNamee defended Novak Djokovic from the criticism he received for the injury at the 2023 Australian Open, through a post on Twitter. He wrote: «I want to be very clear: in the first week of the tournament, Novak Djokovic moved very badly.
It didn’t take a genius to figure it out. he had a wound. She handled it with great intelligence and proved to be a living legend. How did she do it? The reason is simple: he is still the best player in the world and has a constant margin over everyone else.» The Serbian champion will be busy in Dubai at the end of February (February 27 – March 4), but he will have to miss the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 like last year.
The ATP number 1 is still not allowed to enter the US due to his vaccination status and will hardly try to force the issue. Nole could be overtaken in qualifying by Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Why Nole was criticized in Melbourne
On Sunday, January 29, Novak Djokovic edged past Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his tenth Australian Open.
The Serbian phenomenon has hooked his eternal rival Rafael Nadal in 22 Grand Slams and will try to overtake him now at Roland Garros, scheduled for the end of May on the red clay of Paris. As if that were not enough, the 35-year-old from Belgrade returned to the top of the world ranking by ousting Carlos Alcaraz from the throne after 20 weeks of reign.
Nole dominated the AOs far and wide, dropping just one set in seven games. The player coached by Goran Ivanisevic showed up in Melbourne with a left hamstring injury, but his level was impressive from the round of 16 onwards.
Many even questioned the veracity of that matter, an attitude that ended up upsetting Novak himself. On the sidelines of the tournament, AO director Craig Tiley revealed that Djokovic played with a three-centimeter tear in his left thigh.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion had accomplished a very similar feat in 2021, when he came one step away from retiring during a match against American Taylor Fritz.