Novak Djokovic has had enough of the accusations spreading about him "faking" his injury at the 2023 Australian Open, stating that he has nothing to prove to anyone anymore.
The Serb booked his spot in the quarterfinals on Monday, defeating local lad Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets. Having struggled with a leg injury at the tournament so far, the fourth-round clash was an unusally pain-free day for the 21-time Grand Slam champion, who did not put a foot wrong on the night.
Speaking to Serbian media in his native tongue afterwards, the World No. 5 was asked about his thoughts on certain comments in the media about how his injury concerns were less serious than he made it appear. The former World No. 1 shot back, wondering why others players were seen as "victims" when they get injured but when he claimed the same, he was being subjected to a different standard.
“I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt,” he said. “Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting. I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone."
The former World No. 1 further revealed that he had all the medical proof he needed to establish the truth without uncertainty.
“I have got the MRI, ultrasound and everything else, both from two years ago and now. Whether I will publish that in my documentary or on the social media, depends on how I feel," he said. "Maybe I will do it, maybe I won’t."
At the same time, he did not want to publish them just yet, stating that he was not interested in proving his innocence to everyone who demanded it. Novak Djokovic, disappointed as he was, did not lose heart, however, noting that such tribulations only helped motivate him even further.
“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying. It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation," Djokovic said. "But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”
“The signs are good, but I won’t celebrate just yet" - Novak Djokovic on his leg injury
As for the status of the injury, Novak Djokovic revealed that he is pain-free at the moment, which does not mean that his leg injury won't flare up again. As a precaution, the Serb and his team are considering having him not practice any tennis during his remaining off-days at the Australian Open.
"We just spoke about it, I don’t know, we are thinking whether we should continue with not practising on off-days,” he said. “The signs are good, but I won’t celebrate just yet. Let’s see how I will feel tomorrow.”
The 21-time Grand Slam champion will next take on Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals, while his semifinal opponent will be decided by the battle between Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul.
How did Novak Djokovic meet Jelena Ristic? All about the most admired couples in tennis