Novak Djokovic overcomes injury, qualifies for Melbourne

Melbourne Australia — Novak Djokovic He propped up his left boot on a fieldside sign so he could stretch his hamstring which he then admitted mattered to him. He made a grimace while flexing the muscle after one point, and jumped on his right leg to keep the weight off left one after another. He took a medical time-out while a coach re-taped him during the second set – which Djokovic would go on to drop.

As if he needed another distraction, Djokovic was flustered enough by the boycott that he asked chairman Fergus Murphy to remove the spectator from Rod Laver StadiumHe told the official, “The man is drunk out of his mind… He’s been provoking. He just wants to get in my head.”

As Djokovic summed up afterwards: “A lot happened tonight.”

Here’s what didn’t happen Thursday night at the Australian Open: Djokovic didn’t completely lose his way and most importantly didn’t lose in the second round, which both of them did. No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal And No. 2 seeds Casper Road.

Seeking a tenth title at Melbourne Park, to add to his own record, and his 22nd Grand Slam title overall, to equal Nadal, Djokovic put everything aside and beat the 191st-ranked Frenchman in qualifying. Enzo Quacode 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0. It was Djokovic’s 23rd consecutive Australian Open win, a streak that was paused a year ago when he was unable to play in the tournament because he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I’m worried. I mean, I can’t say I’m not. I have reason to be worried,” Djokovic said of his hamstring, noting that he needs to avoid training days before matches.

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“There’s not much to talk about,” said Djokovic. “There are two options: leave it or move on. So I’m going to go on.”

A group of people wearing red and white striped T-shirts straight from “Where’s Waldo?” He left the arena after Djokovic pleaded his case with Murphy about someone giving him a particularly hard time.

“What I struggle with is when someone crosses the line a few times…and says things that were not respectful at all,” Djokovic explained in his press conference, adding that it went on for over 1/2 hours. “I’ve had enough, you know?”

This didn’t sound like a very exciting contest, given that fourth seed Djokovic did everything he did, while Kwakod entered with a career-high 2-5 mark. Whatever chances Quacode had beforehand seemed to wane in just four games, when he turned his right ankle and required a visit from a coach.

But Couacaud overcame that and played freely, eliciting some impressive shot-making.

“You just have to deal with it,” Djokovic said. “One of those circumstances and situations where maybe things don’t work out perfectly.” “But this is a sport.”

He was talking about his opponent’s play, but emotions took over the night well.

There was little of Djokovic’s usual interaction with the crowd as he arranged his game. After breaking away to lead 2-0 in the final set, he ran around his side of the court, as if to show his opponent, and others, how good he was feeling and how well he was playing.

In another moment, he basks in gasps of approval by pointing his index finger at his right ear, asking for more.

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Kwakod manages to have some fun too, when he briefly makes things a little fun, celebrating his claim to the second set by pointing to the court as if he were referring to “This is my house!”

Which of course it is not. The place belongs to Djokovic, who will play No. 27 Grigor Dimitrov After that, he learns that two highly ranked contenders are no longer potential obstacles.

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