Novak Djokovic says he could potentially "do more damage" to his body if he continued to compete in the Australian Open after the stomach injury he sustained during his third round match against Taylor Fritz. World number 1 returned on Sunday, beating Milos Raonic 7: 6 (4), 4: 6, 6: 1, 6: 4.
After he said after his match against Fritz on Friday evening that the ATP physiotherapist had told him that his injury was "definitely" a tear, he declined on Sunday to describe his injury in detail. He said he had spent the past 48 hours doing "various treatments using different devices," including pills and pain relievers, coordinating with the medical staff at Tennis Australia, ATP Physios and his own physical therapist.
"It's kind of a game of chance," said Djokovic. "I mean, that's what the medical team told me. It's really unpredictable. You have no way of knowing what's going to happen to you when you're on the field. You're not going to save yourself or think about this point or this or that." Choosing shot. It just attracts you. It's normal. When you play at this level, you just want to give it your all.
“It could do a lot more damage than it is right now, but it could also be going in a good direction. This is something I don't know, and I don't think I'll know until I stop taking painkillers. As long as I have a high dose of pain medication, I can still bear some of the pain. "
Djokovic said he didn't know if he would play until a few hours before the game, but he showed a highly competent performance to beat Raonic. While grimacing at times, he won 78% of the points on first serve, fired 41 winners with just 25 easy mistakes, moved smoothly, and broke Raony's formidable serve three times.
“Playing the best of five with some kind of aggressive mover that I have on the court doesn't help much with this type of injury, but I think the combination of pills and treatments and also some willpower and, of course, some measure and level to endure the pain. Mentally I think that somehow you have to accept that I came into the game because I know that I will probably be in pain all the way, which I did, ”said Djokovic.
Injuries were the topic of the day as 21st seed Grigor Dimitrov scored a shock 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win over third seed Dominic Thiem to advance to the quarterfinals. Thiem consistently offered little energy or resistance and only scored six points in the third set of 21 minutes. He then noticed physical problems but declined to go into any further.
"Some minor physical problems," he said. "I don't want to get any closer to them. I don't want to find excuses. But the thing is, I'm not a machine either. I mean, sometimes I would love to be, but there are really, really bad days. Once you're on this one If you're not 100% on the pitch, you get results like that, and that's what happened today.
Dimitrov will see the surprise of the tournament, Aslan Karatsev, a 27-year-old Russian qualifier who beat 20th seed Felix Auger Aliassime 3: 6, 1: 6, 6: 3, 6: 3, 6: 4 first male player for 25 years who reached a Grand Slam quarter-finals on debut.