Goran Ivanisevic and Craig Tiley Give Crucial Update on Novak Djokovic’s Ailing Injury at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/13/2021, 12:24 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


After a thrilling five-set victory in the third round of the 2021 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic cast doubts over his participation.

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Djokovic suffered an abdominal muscle tear during the third set that restricted his movement and allowed Taylor Fritz to stretch the match to the deciding set.

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

In fact, during the post-match interview, Djokovic seemed unsure of being able to get back on the court for the fourth round and talked about getting the best possible treatment to recover.

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Tournament boss hopeful of Novak Djokovic continuing

However, in an interview with Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, the CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley sounded confident of Djokovic continuing his hunt for a record 9th Australian Open title.

The tournament boss hailed Djokovic as ‘resilient’ and knows the Serbian will receive viable treatment to get back on the court.

“We’ll see him. He’s resilient, he’s tough. He’ll wake up today and he’ll figure out what it is and he’ll go and get the appropriate treatment. The way he was, those two sets, I was pretty surprised,” said Tiley.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Having witnessed Djokovic’s exploits at the Rod Laver Arena over the years, Tiley talked about Djokovic being extremely comfortable on this court and is hopeful of the defending champion overcoming the injury.

“But I’ve seen him play enough times here, this is his court, he gets comfortable on it and he just picks his game up and up and he’s that good.

“So his health is going to be important and we’ll make a decision later on today on when he plays tomorrow,” concluded Tiley.

Djokovic’s coach offers injury update

However, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic made a statement that his pupil won’t be practicing on Saturday and their team is waiting for the medical reports before taking any decision.

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With hardly any time to recover for his next match, inability to train a day prior brings Djokovic chances of continuing into question.

If the World No.1 is unable to compete further, it will be an enormous blow to the Grand Slam event. Djokovic has been the most successful player in Australian Open history.

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Up next, Djokovic will play against the Canadian, Milos Raonic, in the fourth round at Melbourne Park. Interestingly, the duo faced off in the quarterfinals last year, with Djokovic winning in straight sets.

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Kshitij Tayal

365 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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