Novak Djokovic says injury doubts keep him motivated at Australian Open

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 23, 2023 Novak Djokovic of Serbia competes in a 4th round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 23, 2023 Novak Djokovic of Serbia competes in his fourth round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

MELBOURNE —Novak Djokovic said any questions about whether he really struggled with a hamstring injury at the Australian Open just gave him extra strength and motivation.

The Serbian is still on track to win his 10th Melbourne Park title on Monday after beating Alex de Minaur in the fourth round despite an injury he said earlier raised questions about whether he Can I continue to participate in the tournament?

In his post-match press conference in English, the 35-year-old said he feels as good as possible. since he got injured during a warm-up tournament in Adelaide, but in subsequent comments to the Serbian media he rounded up doubts.

“I leave doubt to those people; let them be suspicious,” he said, according to the Tennis Majors website.

“Only my injury is in doubt. When some other players get hurt, they’re the victims, but when it’s me, I’m pretending. It’s very interesting. I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.”

Djokovic, who missed last year’s tournament after being kicked out of Australia for his stance against COVID-19 vaccinations, has had to battle a stomach issue throughout his quest to win his ninth title in 2021. .

“I’ve had MRIs, ultrasounds and everything else, both years ago and now,” he adds.

“Whether I will announce that in my documentary or on social media depends on how I feel. Maybe I can, maybe not.”

Djokovic can match Rafa Nadal’s record by winning his 22nd Grand Slam title on Sunday but often complains that he is not taken as seriously as the injured Spaniard and Roger Federer.

“I don’t really care at this point what people are thinking and saying,” he said.

“It’s interesting, it’s interesting to see how the story around me continues, the story is different from other players who have been through the same situation.

“But I got used to it, and it gave me more strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”

Djokovic will face Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

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