Mats Wilander has admitted it is worrying times for Novak Djokovic’s camp, and feels the world number one’s injury offers hope to the rest of the Australian Open locker room.
Djokovic overcame a stomach muscle injury that restricted his movement to beat Taylor Fritz 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.
After the match, Djokovic said it was one of the highlights of his career, but is unsure if he will be able to overcome what he suspects is a torn muscle.
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The eight-time Australian Open winner is due to face Milos Raonic in the Round of 16, and Eurosport expert Wilander admits it is a concern that he was so restricted in his movement in the third and fourth sets.
“It’s very worrying,” Wilander - who won the Australian Open on three occasions - said in the Eurosport Cube. “I guess the reaction we saw from Novak at the end is a positive because it means that he can possibly fix this injury in a way.
“It does give hope to the locker room because Milos Raonic must be thinking Novak is a little bit injured.
It gives the other players hope and it’s worrying times for Novak but I think the victory celebrations say it all. I think this is something he thinks he can fix."
Djokovic was in serious trouble in the fourth set, but was handed a brief break as the crowd was asked to vacate the court to comply with the lockdown restrictions imposed in the state of Victoria.
The crowd was in Fritz’s court, but Wilander feels Djokovic is a master at blocking out the fans.
Highlights: Djokovic overcomes injury to beat Fritz and reach fourth round
“It was amazing to watch the best player in the world come back after the break, because the best players will always be worrying about their opponent – they don’t care about the crowd in a way,” Wilander said. “They love them there but Novak pulls through and you wouldn’t even know that there is no one watching.”
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