Australian Open: 'You've got to find a way', says hamstrung Djokovic after Dimitrov win

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

Novak Djokovic recognised his ongoing hamstring troubles are "not ideal" but said in "high-level professional tennis you have got to find a way".

The Serbian beat number 27 seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday, despite clearly feeling the hamstring injury that hampered him in his second-round match.

Djokovic was particularly struggling in the first set, though was able to win a tense tie-break 9-7, before going on to win the second and third sets 6-3 6-4 in a match that lasted over three hours.

"I went up and down with my leg, at times it was feeling good and at times not so good, so I had to handle that," Djokovic told Eurosport after the victory.

"Also Grigor is in form, played well for over three hours and three sets, I can't even imagine if I'd lost one of those sets what the length of the match [would have been].

"[I was] just fortunate to find the right shots in the right moments, I thought the double break in the third would be enough but from that moment he was locked in, he didn't miss much, he made me play, made me run all over the place, he read my serves very well, so it was just an incredible battle in the end."

Djokovic received a medical timeout at the end of the first set, which seemed to do the trick as he looked more comfortable in the second, and he broke twice early in the third before a brief Dimitrov fightback, which was ultimately in vain.

"It's movement," he clarified about the injury. "A specific movement that just triggers so I prayed that it doesn't happen, but it happened in the match so I had to deal with it, I had to call the physio and get the pills in my system and it helps so far.

"Not ideal but somehow finding a way. This is high-level professional tennis and you've got to find a way."

The fourth seed faces Australian Alex de Minaur in the fourth round.

Related items

  • Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's

    Jack Draper earned the biggest win of his career, upsetting defending Queen's Club champion Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets on Thursday.

    He followed up his first ATP tour title in Stuttgart with a statement win, beating the French Open winner 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

    He did not lose a service game in a dominant display, though Alcaraz did not lose one in the opening set either, forcing a tie-break before his sloppiness allowed Draper to edge in front.

    Despite Alcaraz bringing his usual threat, Draper got a vital break to make it 4-2 in the second set, rallying to see out a third victory against top-10 opposition.

    Draper will play fifth seed Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals.

    Data Debrief: Alcaraz sees streak snapped

    Alcaraz had won eight consecutive matches coming into this meeting thanks to his victory at Roland Garros, but could not find a way past Draper.

    The British number one impressed, especially in his serves, winning 76 per cent of his service points during the one hour 39 minute contest.

     

  • Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals

    Jannik Sinner survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Halle Open after beating Fabian Marozsan on Thursday.

    After having to go all the way in the opening round, Sinner was once again forced into a decider but eventually came out on top 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

    It looked like it might be an easier match for Sinner after he took the first set, but Marozsan rallied in the second. The world number one was able to force a tie-break, but he could not get the better of the Hungarian's aggressive play.

    Sinner did get a decisive break in the decider though, lunging to the net to get a vital point as he rushed into a 4-0 lead before holding out to reach the next round.

    Data Debrief: Sinner stays in the hunt

    Sinner is still chasing his first grass-court title, and looks like he will be pushed all the way to get one in Germany.

    He has improved his record for the season to 35-3 after beating Marozsan in their first ATP meeting.

  • Murray hopeful that latest injury will not affect Wimbledon participation Murray hopeful that latest injury will not affect Wimbledon participation

    Andy Murray hopes his latest injury will not rule him out of his Wimbledon swansong next month after withdrawing from the Queen's Club Championships on Wednesday.

    The former world number one was forced to retire against Jordan Thompson five games into their second-round encounter due to a back injury and pain in his right leg.

    It was a sad end for Murray, who has won the tournament a record five times. However, attention will immediately turn to being fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1. 

    "Let's hope it will be OK with some rest and treatment, and I'll still be able to play [at Wimbledon]," said Murray, who won two Wimbledon titles in 2013 and 2016.

    The three-time grand slam champion was set to play an exhibition event in Hurlingham next week before Wimbledon but looks likely to miss the event. 

    Murray had said earlier this week he felt ending his illustrious career at Wimbledon or the Olympics would be a fitting stage to retire from the sport. 

    The Scot is set to undergo a scan on Thursday to clarify his potential participation at the tournament next month, where he is also due to play in the doubles alongside his older brother, Jamie. 

    "I don't know exactly what the problem is. I hadn't experienced that before," said Murray. "I have no idea how long it will take to get better and what the treatment options are."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.