Novak Djokovic quells injury fears with message to fans

A delighted Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy
A delighted Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has moved to quell concerns around his fitness ahead of his opening match in Melbourne.

Djokovic cancelled his practise session early on Monday which sparked fears over his fitness.

However, he took to the court later on in the day and told fans he will be ready to launch his bid for a tenth Australian Open title.

Sportsko novinarstvo journalist Saša Ozmo reports that Djokovic assured fans who attended his practice that he would be playing on Tuesday.

“Thank you for coming,” Djokovic was reported as saying. “Everything is okay, see you at the match.”

However, the 35-year-upper old’s left leg was extensively wrapped during the exercise, raising concerns about his fitness ahead of his opening match against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.

Djokovic had to cut short a practice session last week owing to hamstring difficulties, but he moved freely as he and Nick Kyrgios put up an exciting exhibition encounter ahead of the event proper on Rod Laver Arena.

It was a rollercoaster day for ardent Djokovic fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their hero on the opening day of the Grand Slam.

Eurosport’s Laura Robson could detect no issues with the Serb during the session which was covered by several journalists despite the first round being in full swing.

“Djokovic had his training cancelled earlier,” Robson reported.
“He is dealing with a couple of injuries with his leg, so in hindsight, they [Djokovic and Kyrgios] may have been better off skipping that one [Friday’s exhibition match], but it is a bit what-if, really.

“Yes, he seemed fine,” Robson said. “I spoke to a couple of people around the players’ dining area, and they had heard that he was dealing with a bit of a knee issue.

“But he wasn’t very open about how bad it was because he did not know for sure whether he was going to play or not.”

SHOW COURTS ORDER OF PLAY, SINGLES

TUESDAY 17 JANUARY (ALL UK TIMES)

ROD LAVER ARENA
Day session (from 00:00)
Aryna Sabalenka v Tereza Martincova
Katherine Sebov v Caroline Garcia
Matteo Berrettini v Andy Murray
Night session (from 08:00)
Tamara Zidansek v Ons Jabeur
Novak Djokovic v Roberto Carballes Baena

MARGARET COURT ARENA

Day session (from 00:00)
Garbine Muguruza v Elise Mertens
Xiyu Wang v Karolina Pliskova
Juan Pablo Varillas v Alexander Zverev
Night session (from 08:00)
Viktoriya Tomova v Belinda Bencic
Tomas Machac v Casper Ruud

JOHN CAIN ARENA

Andrey Rublev v Dominic Thiem
Taylor Fritz v Nikoloz Basilashvili
Maryna Zanevska v Veronika Kudermetova
Night session (from 08:00)
Yu Hsiou Hsu v Alex de Minaur

SELECTED OTHER COURTS

Filip Krajinovic v Holger Rune – Kia Arena, second match (court starts at 00:00)
Daria Kasatkina v Varvara Gracheva – Kia Arena, fourth match (court starts at 00:00)
Facundo Bagnis v Dan Evans – Court 7, first match (court starts at 00:00)

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