'Beyond ridiculous': Fans divided over Novak Djokovic drama

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured right) after a point at the Australian Open and (pictured left) in pain from an injury.
Novak Djokovic (pictured right) defeated Milos Raonic at the Australian Open with a serious abdominal injury (pictured left). (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic continues to baffle the tennis world following claims of an abdominal tear after showing signs of pain, despite an imperious performance to defeat Canadian Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.

The World No.1 said his bid for a record ninth Australian Open title was in serious doubt after claiming he suffered an abdominal tear, which occurred during his match against Taylor Fritz, could be too much to overcome against the big serving Canadian.

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But Djokovic fuelled further scepticism over his fitness by refusing to confirm details of his mysterious abdominal injury after powering his way to a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory and into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

He underwent an MRI scan and almost two days of treatment from medical staff but moved well in his fourth-round win over 14th seed Raonic, which was completed in the early hours of Monday morning.

But after the match, Djokovic said the only reason he has not already withdrawn from the Open is because it is a grand slam.

"I understand that you want to know, but I really don't want to get into it what it is," Djokovic said.

"Yes, I did an MRI, I did everything.

"I know what it is, but I don't want to talk about it now. I'm still in the tournament."

On Saturday, Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was one to question whether Djokovic had made the injury sound worse to get in his opponents head.

While he, like most, did not doubt Djokovic had an injury, he doubled down after watching his match and said it was 'hard to believe' the World No.1 had torn his muscle.

But rather that the injury wasn't as severe.

Many in the tennis world remained divided over the issue after watching his performance against Raonic.

New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey said it did appear Djokovic's ability to heal was 'remarkable', but it was 'ridiculous' to suggest he wasn't injured.

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Djokovic said if it wasn't a Grand Slam tournament, he might have withdrawn injured due to the extent of his injury.

"I didn't hit a tennis ball yesterday ... I tried to use every single hour possible to recover and give myself at least a little bit of a chance to step on the court, which I have done," Djokovic said.

"As I said on the court, if I'm part of any other tournament other than a grand slam, I definitely wouldn't be playing.

"But it's a grand slam. It matters a lot to me at this stage of my career, of course.

"I want to do everything possible in this very short amount of time to get on the court."

The big-serving Raonic blasted 26 aces to Djokovic's 10 and there were some hurdles for the Serbian star to overcome as he let slip the only two break points of the first set and dropped the second.

But Djokovic powered through the third set to become only the second man after Roger Federer to win 300 grand slam matches.

with AAP

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