Defending champion Novak Djokovic battled through shoulder pain to secure a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-1 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero and reached the third round of the US Open 2019 on Wednesday.
Novak Djokovic who had work done on his shoulder during his warm-up at the Arthur Ashe Stadium earlier in the day, required medical treatment from the trainer during his match as the pain was hindering to his game.
The world No.1 was in clear distress when he took a medical timeout while leading 4-3 in the first set. The 32-year-old massaged his left arm and shoulder during the match, which helped him to stay in the match when he was on the verge of retirement.
Talking about the shoulder pain, the Serb said in the post-match press conference, “It has caused hindrance to my game for sure tonight, especially with the serve and backhand. It was not easy to play with this kind of sensation, to be honest. I did not experience that too many times in my career.”
The 16-time Grand Slam champion returned to the court after a medical timeout to claim the first set. However, Djokovic had more treatment before Londero broke him twice to take a 3-0 lead in the second set. The shoulder pain was troubling the Serbian so much that he even failed to make a soft backhand shot go over the net to the open court when Londero was out of position.
Novak Djokovic also confirmed that he was going to retire from the match as he said, “The way it has started for me, especially midway through the first set, I didn’t know if I would be able to finish the match. I’m really glad I have. I’m hoping that in two days’ time I will be able to play pain-free.”
Djokovic will face either Denis Kudla or his compatriot Dusan Lajovic in the next round of the US Open 2019. However, the shoulder injury can hamper his further participation in the event. The 3-time US Open champion explained that he will undergo medical treatment with experts in the hope of being fit for the next round.
Talking about his plan for recovery till the next round, Djokovic said, “I’m probably gonna freeze my arm for 48 hours and see how it goes. This is something I’ve been carrying for quite a while now. It is what it is.”
MBA tech grad.| Sports enthusiast| Writer by passion