Public Won’t Be Skeptical if Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal Were Injured in Place of Novak Djokovic Says Renowned Journalist

Published 02/25/2021, 8:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serbian’s Novak Djokovic during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Loren Elliott


More than his record-extending ninth Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic made the news because of his injury. As a result, elite tennis reporter and historian, Steve Flink, decided to share his views on the matter.

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Before this, the Serbian ace claimed that he’d suffered from a muscle tear during his third-round Australian Open match against Taylor Fritz. Despite that, however, he came back stronger and kept improving with each passing round, and ultimately won the title in a decisive and commanding manner.

While many in the tennis world criticized him later on, Steve Flink agrees with the Serbian’s story. To start, the American reporter stated that Novak Djokovic is “an incredible physical specimen.”

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Flink does not doubt that Novak Djokovic was in pain

Steve highlighted that the 18-time Grand Slam champion did not practice for the fourth-round and quarterfinals match. Moreover, he watched the Serbian’s movement and mannerisms carefully.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic receives medical attention during his third-round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Here is what the American deducted. “He was in pain, there’s no doubt in my mind. He would wince of when we would finish his stroke after the point.”

In contrast, Djokovic surprised everyone with his agility and flexibility in the semifinal against Aslan Karatsev. He not only dominated the Russian but delivered his bets performance of the tournament until that point.

The American agreed, “It wasn’t until the semifinal that we saw the difference of how much better he was moving and how much he seemed to look physically.”

Still, many believe that it’s not possible to win a Major while carrying an injury, to which the American reported said that the break before the final worked in Djokovic’s favor.

“He also was fortunate,” Flink said. “Two days off before the final was the best thing that could happen to him to let the injury heal a little bit more.”

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The inevitable Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal comparison

Flink affirmed that nobody would have been doubtful and skeptical in such a case about Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. In addition to that, he even highlighted Rafa’s back injury that he had sustained just as the ATP Cup kicked off.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain, and Roger Federer of Switzerland wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“Like Rafa with the back, nobody questions him about the back and they shouldn’t. But I think Djokovic deserves the benefit of the doubt,” the American said.

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Steve admitted that it might have been a strain instead of a tear. To answer everyone, the Serbian will release a documentary on his Australian Open 2021 struggles later in the year.

For now, the Big Three are looking forward to getting busy in the upcoming tournaments as their race to be the best rages on.

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Purav Joshi

670 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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