World number 1 Novak Djokovic has been forced to admit his concerns about an ankle injury he sustained whilst on Davis Cup duty with Serbia.
He picked up the injury early on in his Davis Cup match against the USA’s Sam Querrey, despite that the Australian Open champion battled through the pain to win 7-5 6-7 (7/4) 6-1 6-0 in 2 hours and 35 minutes. That victory has helped put his nation into the Davis Cup semi-finals but potentially at a serious cost to Novak. With the injury coming on Serbia duty it played a decisive factor in Djokovic’s insistance to play on through the pain: “If I had not been playing for Serbia with my team beside me, I am not sure I would have carried on.”
The 25-year old also voiced his annoyance at the timing of the injury and the responsibility of performing for his nation: “It couldn’t have happened at a worse moment, right at the start of the match. I felt pain with every motion in the first 30 minutes so I just had to go for precision with my shots. These are rare occasion when you get to play for your country with 15 people on your team cheering you on so it’s always a big responsibility.”
Unfortunately for his fans, the Serb couldn’t say the severity of the ankle problem but he does admit they’re part and parcel of the sport: “Injuries are part of the sport and you try to avoid them as an athlete as much as you can. The nature of the injury is still to be determined. All I can say is it doesn’t look good. It’s swollen, and when it’s swollen it’s definitely not a good first sign.”
It’s clear that the injury has come at a bad time with the ATP World Tour entering the clay season, particularly given the closeness to the French Open – the only grand slam Djokovic is yet to win. The Monte Carlo Masters begins in a matter of days so the the world number 1 has subsequently become a majour doubt. It’s set to be an anxious wait for him and his worldwide following to find out more on the injury.
Even if the words that the player has given aren’t too conclusive, his tears after the victory suggest the injury could be very serious. Have a view below as he struggles to hide his emotions.