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Daria Saville gives Novak Djokovic clean chit in Australian Open 2023 injury controversy

Novak Djokovic in action at the Australian Open 2023
Novak Djokovic in action at the Australian Open 2023

World No. 56 Daria Saville recently shared her outlook on an injured Novak Djokovic, who is on the hunt for his 10th Australian Open title.

Djokovic suffered a hamstring injury earlier this month at the Adelaide International 1, sparking concerns about his chances at the ongoing Melbourne Major. But despite the injury issues and withdrawal rumors, the Serb has put in some dominant performances in the first week, making some people question the legitimacy of his injury.

In that context, Australian player Daria Saville, formerly Daria Gavrilova, has come to the defense of the former World No. 1. On Monday, Saville took to Twitter to share some insights on playing with an injury.

"playing with a niggle, playing sore, even playing with chronic pain is not an injury. An injury, that’s something that’s causing you enough pain to stop you from competing. Trust me, I freaking know," she tweeted.
playing with a niggle, playing sore, even playing with chronic pain is not an injury. An injury, that’s something that’s causing you enough pain to stop you from competing. Trust me, I freaking know.

Saville also expressed awe over the Serb's performance, commenting on his high pain tolerance.

"Novak is a machine and he can probably tolerate more pain than others and on top of that I’m sure him and his team spend hours and hours working on his hamstring to get it better," she added.
Novak is a machine and he can probably tolerate more pain than others and on top of that I’m sure him and his team spend hours and hours working on his hamstring to get it better

Saville went on to describe her own experience as an active player, having got back into the WTA Top 50 post-surgery.

"I think I did… played for 6 years with chronic pain in my Achilles until I had to stop and have surgery. Came back ranked outside 400 and got back inside top 50 in 6 months just so i can share my opinion on Twitter :)," she said.
I think I did… played for 6 years with chronic pain in my Achilles until I had to stop and have surgery. Came back ranked outside 400 and got back inside top 50 in 6 months just so i can share my opinion on Twitter :) twitter.com/bettydalina/st…

"Best tennis I have played this year" - Djokovic on his 2023 Australian Open performance as he enters quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic after his fourth round win at the 2023 Asutralian Open
Novak Djokovic after his fourth round win at the 2023 Asutralian Open

Djokovic, who has dropped just one set in four rounds at the Melbourne Major, is happy with the level of tennis he has been able to produce. The Serb beat hometown hero Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in a dominant display on Tuesday.

When asked after the match if this was the best tennis he has ever played, the 35-year-old stated that it may not have been his best ever.

"Well I dont know ever, but definitely best tennis I have played this year in this tournament , so far this season , best match (against De Minaur)," he said.

Djokovic further acknowledged that as the tournament progresses, the matches will get tougher, but expressed satisfaction with his straight sets victory over the Australian. The 21-time Grand Slam champion went on to state that he felt great in terms of the mobility and movement of his leg.

Djokovic also admitted to feeling exhausted due to the different types of treatments and machines he has to use, which are necessary in order for him to play.

"Tonight (against De Minaur) I didnt feel any pain and moved as well as I have the whole tournament, it means we are progressing in the right direction," the Serb said on his current form.

Djokovic will next face Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals at the Rod Laver Arena on January 25.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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