Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, revealed that the Serb had a 3-centimetre tear, and Djokovic himself once stated that he will show proof of his injury. But most recently, the 22-time Grand Slam champion stated that he doesn't have time to prove it to people, and he spoke about the injury once again prior to the 2023 Dubai Championships, where he's set to compete.
“It was challenging. I know there is a big shadow of a doubt whether I had an injury or not. There are a lot of people questioning that. But, I was definitely injured, and I know what I was going through and my team members.”
According to Djokovic, his injury was very real. He explains that he did not practice at all between matches, and only warmed up before each game. Despite this, he was able to emerge victorious thanks to his intense preparation before the tournament began.
“Obviously that makes the victory in Melbourne even greater, you know. Because I had to face adversities. I haven’t practiced one single day between matches. I just warmed up for the matches and played."
Djokovic also touches on the doubt and criticism he faced from fans and the media, and how he was able to overcome these obstacles. He emphasizes the importance of mental toughness and a winning mindset, and how these factors played a crucial role in his success.
"Luckily I was having a great preparation prior to coming to Australian Open and plenty of tennis so I was allowed to have the luxury of not practicing in the days with no matches and trying to use every moment to recover and to get my leg in a better shape.”
Despite the challenges he faced, Djokovic remains optimistic about his future. He reveals that he has not felt any pain for the past week, and is slowly but surely working towards a full recovery.
“Right now, I have not felt pain for the last week or so. So I feel good on the court. (I’m) still building. Still getting to 100%, I’m still not there. But it’s a process and I’m looking forward to what’s coming up.”