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Novak Djokovic reveals how close he was to retiring as Taylor Fritz questions severity of injury

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point in an empty Rod Laver Arena during his Men's Singles third round match against Taylor Fritz of the United States during day five of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 12, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Image source: Andy Cheung/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic reveals he was close to retirement after suffering a muscle injury after he fought back to beat Taylor Fritz to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Djokovic claims the highest possible strength anti-inflammatories allowed him to pull through the fifth set but warned ‘definitely something serious’ happened to his body. As a result, his last-16 tie with Canadian Milos Raonic is under threat.

The way it felt, at the beginning of the third set when I got my first medical time out, I was debating really strongly in my head to retire the match after two games because I couldn’t move,” Djokovic, who won’t train on Saturday, told Eurosport after the 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 win.

“I couldn’t rotate, I couldn’t return. The only thing I could do is serve and that is what got me out of trouble. I served two first serves, I knew my only chance is if I serve well and put pressure on his service game which happened.

“Whatever is happening here, it got better in the fifth and I could start to play and start to return a few serves. Obviously, that got me a couple of crucial breaks and I am very, very proud of this but at the same time I am a little bit worried because I don’t know what’s going on.

“I think it’s a tear. I had that kind of weird feeling on one of the returns just before I went out to get the medical time out. I knew right away that something not so great is happening and it was confirmed by the physio from the ATP.

“Let’s see, I don’t know – I don’t have a great experience with tears in terms of continuing in the tournament so that’s something that is in the clouds for me at the moment whether I am going to step out in the court in two days. Hopefully, god willing, I will be able to play.”

Source: Metro

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