Novak Djokovic overcame a one-set deficit to beat Alexander Zverev 6-7 6-2 6-4 7-6 to progress to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. However, the 33-year-old spoke of the toll quarantine has taken on all the players’ bodies ahead of his ninth semi-final at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic overcame discomfort from a muscle tear with painkillers to beat Milos Raonic in the round of 16 and looked back to his best against world number seven Zverev.
The Serbian fought back from a set down to beat Zverev, hitting 23 aces to his big-serving opponent’s 21, to set up a first meeting with world number 114 Aslan Karatsev.
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However, Djokovic told Jim Courier post-match his physical conditioning was still not 100 per cent after suffering injury against Taylor Fritz during their third-round match.
“I need time to warm up,” said Djokovic of a sluggish start
Even though I had almost an hour of warm-up hits prior to the match, it takes time to get into my stride.
The world number one added that he has not practised between matches, given the fragile nature of his physical condition, and said quarantine had played its part in the raft of injuries that had afflicted the first Slam of the year.

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“There are too many injuries,” added Djokovic, referencing Grigor Dimitrov’s struggles against Karatsev.
“I'm just hoping that this [quarantine] is temporary, so we could return to preparation without interruptions.

‘It’s taking its toll’ - Djokovic on the impact of quarantine

“The number of injuries show the impact the 14-day quarantine has had on the on the players’ bodies.
It's taken its toll unfortunately to all of us.

Highlights: Djokovic digs deep to beat Zverev and reach semis

Djokovic is chasing a ninth Australian Open crown, with Karatsev, on his first main appearance in the main draw at a Grand Slam, standing in his way.
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