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What injury is Novak Djokovic dealing with at the 2023 Australian Open? Recent updates, players' opinions and more

Rohit
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic's Australian Open campaign has been disrupted by an ongoing injury.

After missing last year's Australian Open due to a visa scandal, Novak Djokovic was ultimately given the go-ahead to compete in the 2023 edition. He arrived in Melbourne after clinching his 92nd career title at the Adelaide International 1. However, the former World No. 1 also picked up a hamstring injury along the way.

The 35-year-old was worried that his quest for a 10th title Down Under could be in jeopardy. Djokovic has been playing with his left leg strapped since the first round, with the injury bothering him more and more. However, he has been dismantling his opponents with ease, causing speculation if he's playing up the severity of his health issue.

The Serb recently hit back at his detractors, stating that only his claims regarding injuries are under the scanner, while others get a free pass. Following his fourth-round victory over Alex de Minaur, he added that he's in much better shape physically and hardly feels any pain now.

However, the debate on the matter continues to rage on.

Fellow players share their thoughts on Novak Djokovic's injury

Novak Djokovic at the 2023 Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic at the 2023 Australian Open.

Injuries are part and parcel of a tennis player's career and almost all of them have dealt with it at one point. Novak Djokovic's impressive performance despite his injury has raised questions regarding its legitimacy, but his contemporaries have mostly been quite objective on the matter.

Daria Saville, who has dealt with her fair share of injuries, backed the Serb's claims. She recalled her own experiences and added that he's on a different level compared to others, with his team constantly working to get him in top shape as well.

"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," tweeted Daria Saville.
"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 :)
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
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…

Taylor Fritz gave his two cents on the matter as well. The American opined that a popular player like Djokovic will always be under scrutiny despite the majority of the tour dealing with one injury or another all the time. He also felt that at times players talk up the extent of their injuries to take the pressure off them.

"My opinion that probably nobody cares about 80% of players are always dealing w something (severity levels differ) but everyone is honesty always a little banged up, the media is only ever focusing on the top guys so there issues get more attention," wrote Taylor Fritz on Twitter.
"Also, some players are more vocal talking about injuries then others. I don’t think people fake injuries, I do think sometimes players stretch the severity of the injury because it depressurizes them and helps them play better (which honestly is fine, do whatever works)"
My opinion that probably nobody cares about.... 80% of players are always dealing w something (severity levels differ) but everyone is honesty always a little banged up... the media is only ever focusing on the top guys so there issues get more attention 🤷🏻‍♂️ twitter.com/josemorgado/st…
Also some players are more vocal talking about injuries then others. I don’t think people fake injuries, I do think sometimes players stretch the severity of the injury because it depressurizes them and helps them play better (which honestly is fine, do whatever works)

Alex de Minaur, who lost to the Serb in the fourth round, felt that he's quite fit now.

"Today I was out there on court against him. Either I'm not a good enough tennis player to expose that, or...it looked good to me. He was just too good in all aspects," Alex de Minaur told the media.

Djokovic's former coach Boris Becker also defended him. The German knows him quite well and mentioned that the 21-time Major champion wouldn't exaggerate the matter unnecessarily.

"Sometimes you think he's bluffing or can't finish the game," Boris Becker told Eurosport. "It's a bit of heaven and hell. That also makes it difficult for the opponent. But Novak wouldn't behave like that if he had nothing."

Djokovic has done well to tune out the drama and produce some stellar tennis to reach the quarterfinals. He'll next take on World No. 6 Andrey Rublev on Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Edited by Rohit
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