Novak Djokovic has won all seven matches in 2023. The Serb is through into the Australian Open third round, but his next rival is not his only concern. Novak has been struggling with a hamstring injury since Adelaide, and it seems it’s getting worse.
Djokovic felt the pain during the Australian Open second-round clash against Enzo Couacaud and said that things are in the hands of God and his physio! Novak will face Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday, doing his best to recover and play at 100%.
Djokovic felt better in the first round against Roberto Carballes Baena, although he produced a bagel in both clashes. The Serb ousted Couacaud 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0 in three hours and four minutes to extend his winning streak in Australia.
Novak struggled with an injury in the second set and required treatment in the closing stages. Couacaud defended three break points and made a comeback in the tie break to steal the set and level the overall score. Djokovic shifted into a higher gear in sets three and four and dropped only two games to move into the next round.
Novak dominated with his first serve and faced one break point in the entire match. He stole 46% of the return points and turned them into seven breaks from 21 chances. Enzo injured his right ankle in the opener’s fourth game while trying to reach a ball at the net.
He received a medical timeout and struggled in the rest of the set. Novak grabbed his second break in game six to move 5-1 in front and wrapped up the set with a service winner in the next one.
Novak Djokovic has struggled with a hamstring injury since Adelaide.
The Frenchman felt better in the second set and produced a couple of comfortable holds to stay in touch.
Novak missed a break chance in game seven after Enzo’s ace and started to feel his left leg in the upcoming games. The Serb required treatment and wasted two more break chances in game 11 to keep the rival on the positive side.
Couacaud survived all the obstacles and climbed back from 3-0 down in the tie break. Novak hit a double fault at 5-5 and sent a backhand long in the next one to hand a set to his opponent and raise doubts. Djokovic made a fresh start in the third set and produced one good hold after another.
He broke Couacaud in game two and converted the second set point at 5-2 to move closer to the finish line. Novak broke in the fourth set’s second game to build the advantage and fended off the only break chance in the next one for a 3-0 lead.
Enzo sprayed a backhand error in the fourth game to lose serve again and push world no. 5 closer to the finish line. Novak placed a drop shot winner in the sixth game for two match points and cracked a backhand down the line winner on the first to emerge at the top and avoid spending more time on the court.
“To be honest, it’s not good at all. I felt better in my previous match than tonight; that’s all I can say now. It’s up to God and physio to help me. I have to take it day by day. I hope to recover and prepare for a tough match against Grigor in the next round,” Novak Djokovic said.
Leave a Reply