Australian Open Semifinalist Reveals Her Abdominal Muscle Tear was More Serious than Novak Djokovic

Published 02/24/2021, 8:25 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


The Australian Open this year was marred by a spate of injuries and injury-enforced pullouts at various stages of the tournament, with an abdominal tear that Novak Djokovic suffered being the most prominent. 

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Now, Czech star Karolina Muchova has added herself to the list of the wounded during the Major, revealing that she battled extreme physical pain on her way to reaching the semifinals at Melbourne Park this year.

In an interview with a Czech publication, the 22nd-ranked Muchova said that she suffered an abdominal tear during the Australian Open but soldiered on to record her best ever performance in a Grand Slam.

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Muchova says her injury was bigger than what Novak Djokovic suffered

Sharing more details on the nature and extent of her injury, the 24-year-old said that her abdominal tear was bigger than the one that top-seed Novak Djokovic battled with on the way to lifting the men’s championship title for an unprecedented ninth time.

The World Number 1 suffered the injury during his bruising five-set win over American Taylor Fritz in the third round at Melbourne Park.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Czech Republic’s Karolína Muchova in action during her quarter final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Even as speculations swirled around his participation at the event, the Serb showed remarkable grit and gumption to not just stay in the hunt for the title but go all the way. 

However, the Czech star who went down to losing finalist Jennifer Brady in three sets in the last-four clash, revealed that her “crack” was bigger than what Djokovic had.

Karolina Muchova reveals her injury has “quite improved”

Muchova said she felt a crack in her abdominal muscle during competition at Melbourne Park and had it assessed by medical experts on her return to her homeland.

“Surprisingly, it has quite improved,” the Czech said on the status of her injury.

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On the Serb superstar revealing that he had suffered a 2.5-centimeter tear in his abdominal muscle, Muchova said, “My crack is a little bigger. Djokovic had it on the right, I on the left.”

She added that a lot of players had their bellies glued during matches, and the quarantine did help in managing whatever little niggles they might have picked up while traveling for the Australian Open.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

750 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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