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Djokovic: Injury situation similar to two years ago

Speaking to Serbian reporters, nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic went into more detail about his hamstring injury

Novak Djokovic Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 18, 2023 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his first round match against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Following his win over Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic spoke about his injury and the changes he has made to his team.

In the English part of the press conference, Djokovic explained that his split with physiotherapist Ulises Badio was a “decision from both sides”. In the Serbian part of the press conference, he added that the fitness trainer Marco Panichi remains part of the team.

“Panichi has got health issues, that is why he is not here with us, but we are in touch. Besides Uli, everybody else stayed. My brother Marko is also here and Carlos (Gomez Herrera), whom I have known for fifteen years now – it is great to have him as a sparring partner, because with him I can work on some specifics I probably cannot when I am practicing with some of my colleagues, future opponents. Carlos gets along very well with Goran (Ivanisevic). And, of course, Miljan (Amanovic, physiotherapist) is here, the great comeback!“

Djokovic: Less practice, more rest

Asked to walk the journalists through the recovery process, Djokovic did not reveal all the details about the injury, but he was very open.

“Well, the situation is similar to the one two years ago here. I think I have told you everything by saying that.”

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his first round match against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

In 2021, Djokovic won the Australian Open with an abdominal tear, an injury he sustained during his third-round match with Taylor Fritz.

“When you do not have a lot of recovery time, you need to do everything in your power to be prepared – that means less practice and more rest. You have seen me practise on Monday, I was maybe at 50 per cent. In the warm-up ahead of the match, I tried to go harder and it was all right – not ideal, but all right,“ Djokovic said before adding: “Let’s see what happens tomorrow when the effect of medications and anti-inflammatory pills
vanishes. There is probably going to be a big inflammation. One day of rest between the matches at Slams gives me the possibility to regenerate, and the experience from two years ago helps me a lot. Also, it is a positive sign that my leg felt better in the third set – it is usually the other way around if the injury is worsening.“

In the second round of the Australian Open, Djokovic will face the winner of the match between Hugo Dellien and Enzo Couacaud.

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