Novak Djokovic’s injury status had been at the forefront of media and fans’ minds throughout the Australian Open.
The Serbian complained about a hamstring prior to the tournament as questions over whether he would compete began to arise.
However, the tennis star has fought through and looked more than coping with the complaint during his straight-sets win over Alex de Minaur.
In fact, the ruthlessness of his performance has led to sceptics over just how bad the injury to his hamstring could have been.
However, Djokovic has looked to set the record state and taken aim at those who speculate about the severity of his injury.
Speaking to Serbian media at the post-match press conference, via news.com.au, he talked about the ‘narrative’ surrounding him.
He said: “I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt.
“Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting… I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.
“I have got the MRI, ultrasound and everything else, both from two years ago and now. Whether I will publish that in my documentary or on the social media, depends on how I feel. Maybe I will do I it, maybe I won’t.
“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying.
“It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation.
Courier: 'I'm not gonna ask you how you beat him so convincingly, I'm gonna ask you *why* you beat him so convincingly'— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) January 23, 2023
Djokovic [pauses, smirks]: 'Because I wanted to' 🥶 pic.twitter.com/STcF5q1KpT
“But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”
The Serbian’s opponent Alex de Minaur had alluded to the fact that the injury may not be as bad as Djokovic had led on.
He said: “Look, I don’t know. I think everyone’s kind of seeing what’s been happening over the couple weeks. It’s the only thing everyone’s been talking about.
“Today I was out there on court against him. Either I’m not a good enough tennis player to expose that, or... it looked good to me. He was just too good in all aspects.”
Meanwhile, American star Taylor Fritz also weighed in on the injury fruore, claiming some players stretched the severity of their injury in order to ease the pressure.
He said: “Some players are more vocal talking about injuries then others. I don’t think people fake injuries, I do think sometimes players stretch the severity of the injury because it depressurizes them and helps them play better (which honestly is fine, do whatever works).
“I don’t think it’s done in a bad sportsmanship kind of way, and before people get defensive, I’m not talking about anyone, in particular, this is just what I see as a player, sometimes.”
Adding: “I’m not taking shots at any players so please don’t get defensive.”
Featured Image Credit: @Tennis/Twitter. Sipa US/Alamy.
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