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Djokovic on his physical state in semi-finals: “I was okay; not great, not so bad”

Novak Djokovic recovered from a tough round-robin match against Daniil Medvedev to win another competitive contest on Saturday, when he beat Taylor Fritz in the Turin semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic Turin victory Zuma / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic did not get a day off after defeating Daniil Medvedev in a three-set marathon during round-robin competition at the Nitto ATP Finals on Friday. In fact, Djokovic had less than 24 hours to get ready for his semi-final match against Taylor Fritz, as they were given the afternoon session as opposed to playing at night.

Nonetheless, it didn’t matter. Although the 35-year-old may not have been at his absolute best in the semis, he was good enough physically to battle past Fritz 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in one hour and 54 minutes.

Afterward, Djokovic was asked about his physical condition.

“(My) physical situation and state is obviously different than most of the matches where I was feeling fresher coming in,” the five-time Nitto ATP Finals champion commented. “Today, because of yesterday’s over three hours with Medvedev, I did feel heavy with my legs a little bit, a bit more than any of the past days of the week.”

In his thriller against Medvedev, Djokovic looked less than 100 percent late in the second set — which he lost in a tiebreaker — and seen shaking with his head buried in a towel on his bench prior to the third. However, the Serb turned things around in the decider and used the momentum to produce a decent enough performance against Fritz.

Djokovic: “I could have gone another set, no problem.”

“I knew that coming into the match that I will not be freshest, but that I will have to find a way differently to adjust my game, to the lack of reactivity on the court today,” Djokovic explained. “Also due to his serve, that is huge, very big server. I wasn’t game-wise feeling the best. Physically I was okay. Not great or not so bad. I didn’t feel that I was too exhausted that I wasn’t able to play. Actually, [to the] contrary I was fine competing and I could have gone another set, no problem.

“I just felt that tennis-wise I was not hitting the ball cleanly as I have throughout the week. That’s also due to the heavier legs, less reactivity time. At the same time I think that these kind of wins value double because you’re not feeling great maybe on the court game-wise, but you still manage to win against a great player, two tiebreakers.

“Of course, I have to be pleased with that.”

Djokovic awaits either Andrey Rublev or Casper Ruud in the championship match on Sunday afternoon.

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