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You are no doubt fully aware of the situation regarding Djokovic and his hamstring injury during the Australian Open. However, while we were all aware of the hamstring injury, Djokovic played his cards very close to his chest regarding the severity of the injury. As a reminder, he picked up this hamstring injury while competing at the Adelaide International warm-up tournament. This tournament was completed just one week before the start of the 2023 Australian Open.
Needless to say, this was probably the worst possible time to pick up an injury. The one exception would be to sustain a severe injury during the tournament, which is exactly what happened to the number one seed, Rafael Nadal. Anyway, coming back to Novak Djokovic, you may recall that he didn’t give specifics on the injury, his treatment, or how close he was to pulling out at any point over the two-week event.
It was only when his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, conducted his post-tournament press conference that people really started to wonder how bad this injury was. Ivanisevic stated that almost any other player on tour would have withdrawn from the tournament after receiving the MRI results that Djokovic did ahead of the event.
Yet still, no specifics were given before tournament director, Craig Tiley, revealed that he knew of Djokovic’s 3cm hamstring tear. When you consider that this equates to a 1.2-inch muscle tear in an incredibly important muscle, this just makes Djokovic’s Australian Open triumph all the more remarkable. And now, I’d like to share a bit more information about the injury and the development over this past fortnight.
Djokovic Hamstring Injury – Severity, Resentment, and Triumph
It would be fair to say that Novak Djokovic has gone through some tough times regarding the Australian Open in the last 12 months. He was famously kicked out of the country last year and therefore banned from competing. Yet just one year later, he has come back to take a 10th title. Given that he did this with such an extreme injury just makes it all the more impressive, in my opinion.
But let me get back to the key details surrounding this injury to stay on track:
As mentioned above, Djokovic was dealing with a 3cm tear in his left hamstring during the tournament. He had an MRI prior to the Australian Open which confirmed his worst fears, yet he decided to play anyway. To give a quick comparison, Nadal suffered a 7mm tear in his abdominals that forced him out of Wimbledon last summer.
I don’t say that to promote Djokovic’s strength over Nadal’s – it’s purely given for comparison.
Resentment and Critics
The worst part of the last two weeks is that people, including other players and key media figures, were claiming that the injury was fake. For me, that’s utter madness, and there are no reasons for Djokovic to fake an injury, no matter how you look at it. And this is something he dealt with for the entire fortnight!
Despite this incredibly tricky injury, the resentment from others, and even the drama surrounding his father – Djokovic prevailed. He took his 22nd slam and 10th Australian Open, showing to the world why he is arguably the true GOAT of the game. And with these details in mind, I understand why Djokovic stated that this is his best victory so far.