Novak Djokovic Says He Would Have Withdrawn From Australian Open 2021 if it Wasn’t a Grand Slam

Published 02/14/2021, 12:52 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against France’s Jeremy Chardy REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Despite uncertainty looming heavy over his further participation in the Australian Open 2021, Novak Djokovic stepped on the court and seemed unfazed by the abdominal muscle tear that he suffered recently.

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Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic in a thrilling four-set match in the fourth round and is three matches away from a record 9th title at Melbourne Park.

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

During the post-match conference, the reporter asked Djokovic about an update on his injury and wanted to know the defending champion’s condition leading up to the match. The World No.1 refrained from divulging many details to avoid any speculations.

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Novak Djokovic opens up about the importance of Australian Open

The Serbian just revealed that he underwent an MRI scan after his third-round match against Taylor Fritz and declared he wasn’t sure of competing until the very last moment.

“I did an MRI (scan), I did everything, I know what it is, but I don’t want to talk about it now. I’m still in the tournament. I hope you guys understand that.

“I don’t want to speculate too much about it. I didn’t know a few hours before I stepped on the court tonight whether I am gonna play or not,” said Djokovic.

Djokovic talked about not having practiced a single minute before his match against Raonic and stated that he only focused on recovering from the injury.

Being the most successful player in Australian Open history, Djokovic acknowledged he wouldn’t have continued playing had it been any other tournament.

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“I didn’t hit a tennis ball yesterday, I tried to use every single hour possibly to recover. If I am part of any other tournament other than a Grand Slam, I definitely wouldn’t be playing,” added Djokovic.

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

With the victory, Djokovic became the second man in history after Roger Federer to register 300 Grand Slam match wins. He will now face Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2 days’ time.

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The duo has played each other 7 times, with Djokovic leading 5-2 in their head-to-head meetings. They last played at the 2021 ATP Cup, a match that Djokovic won in an epic three-set showdown. Can he replicate the results in their firecracker of a match that is yet to come.

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Kshitij Tayal

367 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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