Image source: Andy Cheung/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic has admitted he was pushed to the limit by Alexander Zverev. The world number one has been fighting through the pain barrier at Melbourne Park since sustaining an abdominal injury during his third-round win against Taylor Fritz. The Serb overcome his problems to create a quarter-final 6-7 (6) 6-2 6-4 7-6 (6) success against Zverev.
He said: “It was a relief for me but I wouldn’t recommend this kind of relief channelling, if you want to call it. Of course, I’m not proud of these kind of moments. You go through a lot of different emotions. You go through a lot of inner battles, and everyone is different. I have my own demons that I have to fight with.”
Djokovic looked physically a lot better than he had against Fritz or Raonic.
He said: “The positive thing is that I actually felt the best today from the beginning of the second set until the end of the match that I have since the third round against Fritz when the injury happened. It means that this is going in the right direction, and fingers crossed that in two days it will stay the same.”
In the semi-finals, Djokovic will face qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who became the first male grand slam debutant in the Open era to reach the semi-finals at a major after beating an injured Grigor Dimitrov 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-2.