Djokovic played with a three-centimetre tear during Australian Open

The Serb equalled Rafael Nadal's record of winning 22 Grand Slams

By Web Desk
February 01, 2023
Novak Djokovic in action during his third round match against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov — Reuters 

Australian Open director Craig Tiley has revealed that Novak Djokovic played with a hamstring tear measuring three centimetres throughout his campaign to a record-breaking tenth title.

The Serbian won the season-opening major after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday to equal his competitor Rafael Nadal's record of 22nd Grand Slams.

In an interview with SEN Sportsday, Tiley said: "This guy I did see, he had a three-centimetre tear in his hammy. Absolutely (I saw the scans), the doctors are going to tell you the truth. There was a lot of speculation about whether it was true or not, it's hard to believe that they can do what they do with those kinds of injuries. He's remarkable, to deal with it extremely professionally"

Earlier, Goran Ivanisevic, Djokovic's coach, stated following the championship match that the world number one overcame the injury that would have caused most players to withdraw.

Tiley continued heaping praise on the new world number one and said: "He's so focused on everything he does, with every single minute of the day. That's what he eats, what he drinks, when he does it, how he does it."

"There's no breakdown or mental breakdown in anything that he does. He's been through a lot and to win 10 Australian Opens, I don't think that's ever going to be repeated... He'll hold a significant place in the history of the Australian Open."

In the final, Djokovic had a good start and persevered throughout the second set to win by scores of 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), and 7-6 (7-5)

Djokovic's winning streak at Melbourne Park, which has lasted a record 28 wins in men's singles, began in 2018.

He has reclaimed the title that he was unable to defend the previous year due to his deportation from Australia as a result of a dispute regarding his COVID-19 immunisation status.