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.”