Novak Djokovic remained on observe to seize a record-extending tenth Australian Open title Saturday when he defeated Grigor Dimitrov to succeed in the fourth spherical. Nonetheless, query marks stay over the Serbian’s health as he as soon as once more struggled with a hamstring damage.

“It form of at all times begins nicely previously few matches, together with this one, after which some motion occurs after which [the leg] will get worse,” mentioned Djokovic, who acquired two medical timeouts throughout his three-hour, seven-minute win. “The tablets kicked in, some scorching cream and stuff. That works for a bit of bit, then it would not work once more. It is actually a curler coaster.

“It requires quite a lot of power that’s being spent from my aspect mentally and bodily, to cope with the match with my opponent and in addition not the perfect bodily state. However it’s what it’s. It is a form of circumstances that you need to settle for. I am simply very grateful that I am really in a position to play. The best way it appeared simply earlier than the event began, I believed that it would not be potential. I am nonetheless right here and nonetheless holding on.”

Djokovic entered the occasion with a left hamstring damage suffered en path to the title in Adelaide. The 35-year-old, who will return to No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings if he wins a record-equalling twenty second Grand Slam title in Melbourne, was happy with how he battled towards the twenty seventh seed.

“I believe I began the match rather well, feeling good. [Then] it form of went up and down feeling bodily with my leg. I simply discovered a solution to win in such an thrilling match, massive battle, over three hours for 3 units,” Djokovic mentioned. “If I misplaced certainly one of these units, we might have gone the space. God is aware of how lengthy. We already had some matches over 5 hours throughout this event. This appeared to be one other one. I am simply actually very lucky to get by way of in straight units.”

Djokovic misplaced simply seven video games throughout his victory towards Roberto Carballes Baena within the first spherical. Nonetheless, he struggled bodily all through his second-round assembly with Enzo Couacaud earlier than finally prevailing in 4 units.

Regardless of his damage points, the World No. 4 is decided to proceed going on the first main of the season.

“I didn’t need to pull out for the event as a result of I needed to see how it’ll really feel on the courtroom. The primary match was good. The second match I struggled loads. I had a few moments the place it was actually dangerous at present, as nicely,” Djokovic mentioned.

“However I managed to, as I mentioned, survive and form of pull it by way of. I am going to take it match by match. I do not know what awaits, however I do hope and I’ve religion for the perfect.”

With a spot within the quarter-finals on the road, Djokovic will subsequent face Australian Alex de Minaur.

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