At a time when every medical timeout comes under immense scrutiny from tennis fans, Novak Djokovic stoked the flames in the Australian Open final.
Trailing two sets to one, Djokovic called for the doctor and took a timeout to receive some treatment.
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Many fans accused the Serb of taking the timeout just to mess with Dominic Thiem’s momentum, but Djokovic has since revealed he was battling illness and dizziness.
After the match Djokovic admitted he "couldn't believe what was happening" after surviving a physical and psychological meltdown to storm home and win a mind-blowing eighth Australian Open crown.
A winner of the longest grand slam final in history, a near-six-hour epic against Rafael Nadal in 2012, Djokovic was unable to explain his ordeal on Sunday night.
"Tonight it was toe-to-toe battle. I was on brink of losing that match. I didn't feel great on the court at all," Djokovic said after his 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 escape against Thiem.
"It was quite surprising, to be honest, because I felt it started off well.
"But I played a couple of doubles, then the energy dropped and then the whole thing just started happening. I couldn't believe what was happening.
"Dominic started dominating from back of the court and won two sets pretty easily.
"I didn't have any injuries and it was very strange to me because I've done things pretty much the same as I always do.
"My energy completely collapsed. Every time I would toss the ball, I would feel dizzy.
"We were trying to do everything possible within the circumstances to kind of find a way to rejuvenate, I guess, and I was lucky."
Djokovic regroups to claim title
Looking resigned to defeat, the Serbian ironman somehow regrouped to claim a dramatic win in a minute shy of four hours to clinch a 17th grand slam title.
"I did talk to the doctor and she did assess an evaluate me and she told me that I have maybe few conditions and things like that,” he said.
"But it's not much you can do but get energy gels and bars and lots of liquid and she told me I was dehydrated so I tried to drink as much as I can, I guess.
"There was definitely an emotional aspect to all of this. With all the experience that I have had, I'm still nervous, still stressed out about what's going to happen, how am I going to play.
"Then there was one point where I just said 'OK, I have to accept it. It is what it is. Let's try to do everything possible to come back.'
"And then I guess the fortune was on my side."
Death, taxes and Novak Djokovic to take a medical timeout as soon as his losing #AusOpen— Tina Savidis (@tina_sav) February 2, 2020
I am curious what was that medical timeout for when Djokovic left the court for about 4-5 mins after 3rd set?— Kऋतिक (@SporTechCombo) February 2, 2020
The game completely changed after that !
I find it funny that Djokovic, when under pressure and losing, always seems to have an injury timeout or something like that to slow everything down to change the game. Did it a few years ago to Andy Murray. #AusOpen— Fudgi3 (@chiselfreak69) February 2, 2020
Here we go, the typical Djokovic "injury" timeout when he's losing, then he magically recovers and wins a classic 🙄🙄— Imii (@iceni95) February 2, 2020
Fans complain about Djokovic's medical timeout, yet they say nothing about Federer's medical timeout VS Sandgren, match that Federer won afterwards. It's kinda sad to see honestly, medical timeouts are rather common but only Djokovic gets hate for them...— Asbeth (@Asbeth17) February 2, 2020
With Yahoo Sports