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Djokovic insists hip problem is ´nothing major´

20 ianuarie 2018 14:09

Novak Djokovic never feared he would have to retire from his third-round match at the Australian Open, despite receiving lengthy treatment on his left hip in the second set.

Having been sidelined for six months with an elbow injury, Djokovic is through to the fourth round as he chases a seventh title at Melbourne Park.

The former world number one comfortably beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2 6-3 6-3 on Saturday, but prompted concern for his fitness when he took a medical timeout midway through the match.

In a news conference, Djokovic was immediately asked about the timeout and replied: "It was okay. Nothing major."

He added: "I knew I wanted to use the medical timeout because I needed it, but at the same time I knew it was nothing major that can potentially raise the question mark on whether I can continue playing or not. It was fine.

"I haven't played for six months. We have to take that in consideration. I played a long match against Gael [Monfils] a few days ago.

"This didn't happen too many times in my career, that I have maybe some tensions in the muscles or whatever, some kind of physical challenges. But these kind of circumstances which I'm in at the moment are quite different. I've never faced a situation where I didn't compete [for] six months.

"As I said, it's nothing major to be concerned about. It's just things that surface every day. I guess it's normal.

"A lot of athletes are facing these kind of levels and stages of pain throughout their body in big competitions, and they deal with it. I deal with it. It's fine. I finished the match. I'm very pleased for that."

Djokovic looked likely to face Alexander Zverev in the last 16, but will instead take on Hyeon Chung - a shock five-set victor over the fourth seed.

"I'm really pleased with where my game is at at the moment," Djokovic added. "I know that matches from this moment onwards will get tougher and tougher.

"Hyeon Chung, who has beaten Zverev today, is someone that is very disciplined. He's playing great, he's fit, he doesn't have too many holes in his game. He's a very nice guy. You can see he's a hard worker. It pays off.

"Into the second week, it's going to be a game of small margins. So let's see what happens."

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