Novak Djokovic says fake injury jibes are inspiring his quest for a 10th Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic says fake injury jibes are inspiring his quest for a 10th Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic has hit back at those claiming he is faking a hamstring injury and says it is inspiring him in his quest for a 10thAustralian Open title.

The injury first appeared to flare up at his warm-up event, the Adelaide International, and he has needed medical timeouts for treatment on the muscle throughout his time at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for a 13th time on Monday with a straight-sets win against Alex de Minaur.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion told the Serbian media: “I leave the doubting to those people - let them doubt. Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims but, when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting.

“I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone. I have got the MRI, ultrasound and everything else, both from two years ago and now.

“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying. It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, a narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situations.

Djokovic shrugged off fake injury claims (AFP via Getty Images)
Djokovic shrugged off fake injury claims (AFP via Getty Images)

“But I am used to it and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So, I thank them for that."

Djokovic produced his best performance of this year’s Australian Open to date with a total dismantling over De Minaur.

The Australian was critical of Djokovic at last year’s event amid his visa issue and deportation row saying it had taken attention away from other players.

Of De Minaur, the former world No1 said: “I respect him as a rival, a colleague, as I respect everyone. I have no problem contacting him, congratulating him, etc. But I don’t have any other relationship. I don’t have any communication with him. He showed in 2022 what he thinks about me."