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“I don’t remember ever seeing him play so aggressively in a Slam” – Coach Goran Ivanisevic explains Serb’s hampered movement at Australian Open 2023


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Novak Djokovic’s hamstring injury was one of the biggest talking points during and after the 2023 Australian Open. His coach Goran Ivanisevic has shed light on the issue, saying that the player was at his aggressive best due to limited movement.

The Serb suffered a torn hamstring during the Adelaide International 1 and played through the injury in the first Grand Slam of the year as well. He played most of his matches with his leg heavily strapped and with a few medical timeouts. This resulted in a few players and fans questioning the authenticity of his injury.

Speaking to Tennis Majors recently, Ivanisevic stated that the World No. 1 is planning on making his scans public in the future to put the entire controversy to rest.

“Everything is documented – MRI scans, doctor’s and radiologist’s opinions etc,” Ivanisevic said. “He doesn’t want to do it now, but Novak said that he will come out with those publicly at some point. Some people deal with pain better, some worse.”

The 51-year-old added that Djokovic played aggressively because his movement was restricted. He claimed that when his leg felt better in the finals, the Serb played the most defensive match out of the seven. He beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final to lift his 10th title in Melbourne.

“Out of seven warm-ups, maybe two or three were business as usual, everything else… I don’t even know what to call it, he was just hitting the ball with no movement,” Ivanisevic said. “In matches, you saw that he didn’t chase many balls, but he still managed to win the title by playing a perfected aggressive brand of tennis. I don’t remember ever seeing him play so aggressively in a Slam.”

“When his leg felt better for the finals, he perhaps played the most defensive match out of all seven, since he could move better. People will always talk about this and that, what’s important is that Novak lifted the trophy. As for the others: Sorry, guys, what can I do?” he added.

“Sure, the best player in the world needs to fake an injury” – Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic

Novak Djokovic won the 2023 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic won the 2023 Australian Open

Goran Ivanisevic had some strong words for those who accused Novak Djokovic of faking his hamstring injury. The Croat sarcastically remarked that the world’s best player doesn’t need to fake injury to win against lower-ranked players.

“I find it hilarious when someone says, ‘Oh, he faked [the injury] during the match’. Sure, the best player in the world needs to fake an injury to win against a player who would maybe take a few games off of him. He would win either way,” Ivanisevic said.

Meanwhile, the Serb is hoping for the US authorities to grant him an exemption to play in the Miami Open, beginning on March 22.

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