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“This is definitely one of the most special wins in my life.” said Djokovic, winning even after the injury

Novak Djokovic

The world No 1, however, admitted he faces a race against time to be fit for his fourth-round match against Milos Raonic.

I know it’s a tear of the muscle, so I don’t know if I will be able to recover from that in two days,” Djokovic said.

Early in the third set, he appeared to slip, irritating the muscle on his right side. He said he felt a tear.

He took a medical timeout and took the maximum allowable amount of anti-inflammatory medication.

As the match continued, it was clear he was still having trouble changing direction or stretching for balls that were far away.

The Serb appeared to be cruising until he needed a medical timeout early in the third set.

Djokovic constantly grimaced afterward but dug deep in the fifth set and wore down the big-serving 27th seed 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and 25 minutes.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic’s statement about his own victory

I was just trying to focus on what is going on with an injury,” Djokovic said. “It’s a tear of the muscle. I don’t know if I am going to recover. I don’t know if I am even going to step onto the court.”

“Towards the end of the fourth, it started feeling better,” he said. “I just tried to stay in there and I was hopeful. This is definitely one of the most special wins in my life.”

In his post-match interview, Djokovic identified his injury as a tear and immediately cast some doubt on whether he would continue. “I really don’t know. Right now, I know it’s a tear, definitely, of the muscle so I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. I don’t know if I’m going to step out on the court or not. Just I am very proud of this achievement tonight. Let’s see what happens.”

“It doesn’t matter what round it is and against who it is, under these kinds of circumstances, to pull this through is definitely something I will remember forever.”

Novak Djokovic

The Serb is targeting a record-extending ninth title and his 18th Grand Slam trophy overall as he snaps at the heels of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who top the all-time list with 20 each.

Djokovic set-up a fourth-round clash with big-serving Raonic after the 14th seed beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in four sets. He knocked out Raonic in straight sets in the quarter-finals of last year’s Australian Open. However, whether he plays the match remains to be seen.

 

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