‘Remarkable’ Novak Djokovic won Australian Open with ‘three-centimetre tear in his hammy’
Suggestions that Novak Djokovic exaggerated his injury during his Australian Open title run are way off the mark with tournament director Craig Tiley revealing that scans confirmed he had tear in his hamstring.
Djokovic picked up the injury en route to winning the Adelaide International 1 title and there were initially doubts over his participation in the season-opening Grand Slam.
However, he made it to Melbourne Park and played with a heavily strapped leg and admitted after his second-round win that he considered pulling out of the tournament.
Things, though, improved and by the time he reached the second week he didn’t appear to have any problems, leading some to question whether or not his injury was serious at all.
Djokovic, though, slapped back at his critics, saying: “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. Whether I will publish that in my documentary or on social media, depends on how I feel. Maybe I will do I it, maybe I won’t.”
His performances improved as the tournament went by and by the time he faced Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday he was in supreme form and dismissed the Greek in straight sets to secure at 10th Australian Open title and 22nd career Grand Slam.
During the post-match press conference his coach Goran Ivanisevic said: “Let me put it like this. I don’t say 100%, but 97% of the players, on Saturday when you get results of the MRI, you go straight to the referee office and pull out of the tournament. But not him.”
And now Tiley has also pointed out that he was playing with a tear in his hamstring.
“A lot of the challenges around Novak is that he gets a bad rap,” the Tennis Australia boss told SEN Sportsday.
“But at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone can question his athleticism. This guy I did see, he had a three-centimetre tear in his hammy. Absolutely (I saw the scans), the doctors are going to tell you the truth.
“There was a lot of speculation about whether it was true or not, it’s hard to believe that they can do what they do with those kinds of injuries.
“He’s remarkable, to deal with it extremely professionally.”
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