Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘struggled with stomach’ in tight Paris Masters victory

Novak Djokovic has revealed that he has ‘spent more time on the toilet seat than on the court’ in Paris, after narrowly beating Tallon Griekspoor to move onto the quarter-finals.

Djokovic lead Griekspoor 4-1 in the first set, but lost five games in a row and was forced to fight back to beat the world No.23, 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4.

It was clear that something was bothering Djokovic throughout the contest and after the match he revealed that it was his stomach.

“I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with my stomach and I just didn’t feel myself at all,” revealed Djokovic. “It’s hard to have a clear mind when you spent more time on the toilet seat than on the court the last three days.

“The energy levels were very low the last few days and I’m taking it day by day. Today is probably the worst day so I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be better, that the curve will start going in the right direction for me.”

However, the Serb did not want to take anything away from his Dutch opponent, “I don’t want to take anything away from his performance. He didn’t drop the level.”

Djokovic continued, “Maybe in the third set a few games he did a bit, but he was playing at a very high level and credit to him for that performance. If he would be the winner tonight, it would be absolutely deserved.

“I was just trying to hold my serve and get to a tie-break, which happened in the second. I got lucky on a couple of shots there. It could have easily gone his way, but overall I played a good tie-break and I started to feel better in the third. I’m really, really glad to overcome this challenge.”

Djokovic now moves onto his 11th quarter-final in Paris-Bercy, as he attempts to win a record seventh title at the Masters 1000 tournament to all but confirm his place as the year-end No.1.

The 36-year-old will play defending champion Holger Rune in the quarter-final later today, as he aims to get revenge from the 2022 final.

Inside the baseline…

Had it have been any other top 10 player struggling with stomach issues, it is likely that an impressive Griekspoor would have come through as the victor. However, Djokovic has so much experience of different match scenarios that he could overcome this last night. It may be a different situation today though, as Rune has a winning record over Djokovic that includes the Paris Masters final last year and has in-fact never lost at this tournament. There is also the added element of Djokovic’s former coach Boris Becker now being on the team of his opponent.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.