MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic’s hamstring damage fears proceed to hover over the Australian Open after the nine-time champion required remedy on his left leg throughout an exhibition follow match towards Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic pushed via hamstring tightness to assert final week’s Adelaide Worldwide 1 and is robust as favourite for the tenth Melbourne Park title.
He has received 34 consecutive matches in Australia, along with his final defeat being a stunning fourth spherical loss to Korean Hyeon Chung on the 2018 Australian Open.
However the return to Australia was not all clean crusing.
Djokovic tweaked his left hamstring within the semi-finals in South Australia when he was additionally taking part in Medvedev and required a medical time-out, however recovered to win that recreation, then the ultimate.
After beating Sebastian Korda in Sunday’s decider, the 35-year-old revealed he would work “deep into the night time” along with his physio after the semi-final and shake off the niggle in time for the next day’s last.
“It is high-quality,” Djokovic stated, saying he was assured it would not have an effect on him on the Open.
“There are a lot of occasions within the recreation I really feel this tightening up, muscle mass, however nothing will fear me for my efficiency.”
However in Wednesday’s follow match with Medvedev at Rod Laver Area, Djokovic’s first time taking part in in entrance of the Melbourne crowd since final yr’s deportation saga, the damage appeared once more on the again of his head.
The session was meant to final 75 minutes however Djokovic give up after Medvedev claimed the primary set 6-4 in 36 minutes.
He broke the previous Russian world no.
Knee extension can be utilized to launch the hamstring.
He solely received yet one more recreation from that time.
Medvedev received the following two video games and Djokovic once more acquired the identical remedy on the break when he trailed at 4-3 and once more at 5-4, earlier than pulling out the pin when the Russian received the sport later.
Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar stepped in for the Serbian star as Medvedev remained on the court docket.
Djokovic is supposed to play Nick Kyrgios in one other exhibition match on Friday night time.
A pleasant set of follow matches was performed in jovial spirit between Medvedev and Djokovic in entrance of a small well mannered viewers who paid $20 every for a brand new alternative.
Djokovic, who refused to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination and triggered chaos when he arrived in Melbourne final yr earlier than being expelled, acquired a heat welcome.
There was no signal of hostility in the direction of Djokovic or Medvedev, who complained about their very own remedy from followers in Australia final yr.