Concern that Novak Djokovic doesn’t know when to stay down

Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy

Tennis pundits and fans have expressed concern over the well-being of Novak Djokovic after his Australian Open second round win.

Djokovic limped through to the win over Frenchman Enzo Couacaud, sparking fears that he might just want the title a bit too much.

The Serb’s determination is legendary but Mats Wilander fears it might prove injurious to Djokovic.

“That is not reassuring because I don’t remember him saying anything like that about his body,” Wilander said on the Eurosport broadcast.

“I really don’t.

“Rafa [Nadal] is obviously always very honest and he gets asked all the time. You never really see Novak injured, and if he is, he’s always very quiet about it. So that’s a worry.

“The good think for Novak, when he’s a little bit injured, he can do so much with a tennis ball these days, he can flatten out the forehand, and for his serve. He served brilliantly.

“As long as he can go through the matches, he’ll find another way of playing tennis that I think very few players can do. Of course, it’s a worry, but tactically he’ll play on one leg if he has to.

“But once he did hold serve, that was at three love in that fourth set and the security were there to take them away.

“You want the atmosphere as a player and you don’t have to have the support, but they weren’t really there to watch he tennis, they were trying to antagonise Djokovic and he’d had enough.”

Despite his struggles Djokovic gave credit to Couacau for showing fight and running him to the wire.

“There was a lot happening in tonight’s match,” Djokovic said. “He deserves credit for the fight. He played some great tennis, especially in the second set. He deservedly pushed the match to four sets. We both had some medical timeouts and struggled a little bit but I managed to respond well in the third and fourth. I love playing night sessions. Let’s keep it going.”

Djokovic expects every opponent he faces in the early rounds to be fighting tooth and nail to claim his scalp.

“There was a lot happening in tonight’s match,” Djokovic said.

“He deserves credit for the fight. He played some great tennis, especially in the second set. He deservedly pushed the match to four sets. We both had some medical timeouts and struggled a little bit but I managed to respond well in the third and fourth. I love playing night sessions. Let’s keep it going.”

Djokovic will have Friday off to recover for his third round clash with Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday.

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