After his solid match with Roberto Carballes Baena, Novak Djokovic once again lives with the ghosts of a problem in his left thigh. The potentially comfortable match against the Frenchman Couacaud, a good player on the minor circuit, turned out to be decidedly more complicated than expected for the nine-time tournament champion, who was forced to call the physio in the middle of the second set and, above all, nearly three and a half hours of play to seal the 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0 final.
The 36th consecutive victory in Australia, number 23 in the first major of the year, earned him the challenge in the third round with Grigor Dimitrov. The executioner by Laslo Djere. As with Carballes, Djokovic canceled out the initial phase thanks to an ace and a game that tended to be low-scoring.
However, compared to the Spaniard, Couacaud does not have the same characteristics -especially in the defensive phase-, but above all he is not well armed enough to keep the intensity high during prolonged exchanges. Difficult, on the other hand, for a player accustomed to playing mainly only in the minor circuit.
Bottom line: The Serbian phenom took complete control of the contest with a 2-1 late game in the longest game of the match, a game that also cost the French player a minor left ankle sprain. After the initial 6-1, things remained balanced until 4-4.
When Djokovic, after a few grimaces and another rather sloppy game, asks for the intervention of the physiotherapist and goes into the locker room to treat his left thigh. Obviously scared by the circumstances and the situation, ‘Nole’ concentrates his energies in a more intelligent way and tends to pay more attention to all his movements, both lateral and forward.
Djokovic’s next opponent will be Grigor Dimitrov
Novak Djokovic fears that his hamstring injury could derail his 2023 Australian Open campaign. “I am worried. I mean, I cannot say that I’m not. I have reason to be worried,” Novak Djokovic said.
“That’s obviously something that you just have to accept and deal with. I mean, it’s best-of-five for us guys. Yeah, it’s not perfect that when you finish a match or now it’s 12:30, as you mentioned, and then you have to do recovery, so forth, and you go to sleep, 3, 4, 5 a.m., it affects recovery and the next day. The good thing is you have a day between the matches, on a positive note,” he added.
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