Written by Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, January 19, 2023
Novak Djokovic battled a strange hamstring and Enzo Quakod conquered 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the AO third round for the 15th time.
Image credit: Andy Cheung/Getty
Underground ranked losses are still piling up this Australian Open.
work with leg problem, Novak Djokovic He is taming the Shock in his return to Melbourne Park.
Continuing his quest for a 22nd Grand Slam title, Djokovic tackled a bizarre and tricky hamstring. Enzo Quacode On 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the third round at the Australian Open for the 15th time in 18 matches at AO.
It was Djokovic’s 23rd consecutive victory at the Australian Open, and his 36th consecutive victory on Australian soil.
The nine-time Australian Open champion prevailed through a second-round hurdle that saw top seed rival Rafael Nadal bow to Mackenzie McDonald and second seed Casper Rudd fell in four sets to Jenson Broxby.
It wasn’t an entirely drama-free evening as Djokovic received treatment for his persistent hamstring injury which he admitted was “not ideal”.
Continuing his bid for the men’s 22nd Grand Slam title, Djokovic played with duct tape around his left hamstring in an effort to protect the injury he picked up on his way to his 92nd title in Adelaide earlier this month.
“Obviously it was him and I had some injuries and a medical deadline,” Djokovic told the media in Melbourne. “My situation with my injury is not ideal.” “Obviously I don’t want to get too deep into it. I wish some things were different with the way I feel with my legs, but it is what it is. I have to take it day in and day out.”
The Australian Open champion, playing for his record-setting 10th AO crown, admits he worries about his AO.
Djokovic’s fluid court coverage is a key component of his dominance at Melbourne Park. A nagging hamstring problem has Djokovic worried as he plays for history this month.
“I’m worried. I mean, I can’t say I’m not,” Djokovic said. “I have reason to worry. But at the same time I have to accept the circumstances and try to adapt to my team. My medical team and the doctor have done everything I can so that I can play every game.”
However, Djokovic seemed to move more fluidly as the match progressed and play a determined attack. Djokovic faced just one break point and scored 63-36 in a three-hour, four-minute win.
The encouraging news for Djokovic is that he ended the match with a conviction for the second match in a row.
In the opener, Djokovic edged past 10 of his last 11 matches in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Roberto Karballes Baena. After dropping the second set tonight, Djokovic raised his level to a place the French qualifier could not reside.
A refocused Djokovic won 12 of the first 13 points of the third set to take a 3-0 lead. Djokovic has thrown a streak in the last eight matches to bring his AO record to 84-8.
Musicians understand the importance of space between the notes they play.
As the lame Djokovic plays to stage the 22nd title of his career, he knows recovery days are vital.
This presents an interesting challenge: can Djokovic win a Grand Slam title without training on his days off? That’s exactly what Djokovic says he aims to do.
“The good thing we have in Grand Slams is always a day off between matches, so at least you have some time to try to recover and prepare for the next match,” Djokovic said. “That’s what I’d do. I mainly don’t exercise in the days in-between ’cause I try to give myself as much time as possible for my legs to be somewhat in an ‘optimal’ state to perform at a high level.”
This Melbourne comeback could take another dramatic turn when Djokovic meets 2017 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.
Dimitrov, the 29th seed, dismissed Djokovic’s Serbian citizen Laslo Djiri 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, achieving 32 of 37 first service points.
In the end, the former world number one sees only two options: grit his teeth and play or pack his bags and go home. Djokovic is clearly committed to his choice.
“There are two options: leave him or continue. So I will continue,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to try to play and compete with Dimitrov of course who’s a great player in a couple of days. I know the games will get much more difficult for me from here. Two years ago I had kind of a similar situation here in Australia with a different muscle where I had a tear and I had to deal with that.
“But it’s different now, obviously. I don’t know how my body will react. I hope for the best. I hope for a positive result. I’ll take it day by day, game by game, and see how it goes.”