Novak Djokovic suffers injury scare in practice ahead of the Australian Open
Novak Djokovic has suffered an injury scare ahead of the Australian Open, after feeling a pull in his hamstring. The Serb was forced to cut short a practice match with Daniil Medvedev.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion, who missed last year’s Australian Open after being deported, played just one set, which he lost 4-6, against Medvedev before calling it a day.
Djokovic’s 40 minute spell on Rod Laver Arena marked his first appearance in Melbourne, since being forced to leave the country last year.
It has been a positive return down under for the 35-year-old, who won the Adelaide International last week, despite initially feeling the pain in his hamstring on the run to a 92nd title.
Speaking to a local media outlet in Melbourne after withdrawing from his practice match with Medvedev, Djokovic said “I just felt it pulling and I didn’t want to risk anything worse.”
“I played a set and apologised to him (Medvedev) and he was understanding. I just want to avoid any bigger scares before the Australian Open.”
It was not the first time the two have shared the court this year, with Djokovic beating the Russian in two comfortable straight sets, in Adelaide, last week.
While Djokovic is only the No.4 seed heading into the Australian Open, he is unsurprisingly the clear bookies favourite having won his last 34 matches in Australia. The Serb’s last defeat down under came in the 2018 Australian Open fourth round to Hyeon Chung.
Djokovic will be hoping the potential hamstring injury is only minor, as he will not want to join the growing list of high profile names to have pulled out of the first major of the year, including No.1 Carlos Alcaraz, Marin Cilic and Gael Monfils.
The nine-time Australian Open champion will be looking to lift a record tenth Norman Brooks Challenge Cup, especially after the ordeal of 2022, for which his three-year visa ban was overturned in November.
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine