It's not great, says Novak Djokovic after Australian Open exit

Updated: Jan 23, 2018, 11:02 IST | AFP

Serbian to reassess fitness after painful straight set loss to South Korea's Chung Hyeon in fourth round

Novak Djokovic says he will reassess his fitness situation after a painful defeat to South Korean youngster Chung Hyeon at the Australian Open yesterday. The Serb former world No. 1 played in great discomfort with a recurrence of his right elbow injury and a possible hip/groin problem sustained during the three-set loss in the fourth round yesterday.

Novak Djokovic reacts during his fourth-round Australian Open clash against Chung Hyeon yesterday. The Serbian lost 6-7 (4/7), 5-7, 6-7 (3/7) in three hours, 21 mins. Pics/AFP
Novak Djokovic reacts during his fourth-round Australian Open clash against Chung Hyeon yesterday. The Serbian lost 6-7 (4/7), 5-7, 6-7 (3/7) in three hours, 21 mins. Pics/AFP

The six-time winner said his physical situation was "not great" and he would discuss matters with his team medical staff in deciding what to do in the early part of the season. "Yeah, unfortunately, it's not great. Kind of end of the first set it (elbow) started hurting more. So, yeah, I had to deal with it till the end of the match," Djokovic told reporters after the match.

Doubts over future
"Now I don't know. I have to reassess everything with my team, medical team, coaches and everybody, scan it, see what the situation is like," he added. "In the last couple weeks I've played a lot of tennis. Let's see what's happening." Djokovic came to Melbourne without playing a tournament since Wimbledon in July when a right elbow injury forced him to shut down his 2017 season.

South Korea's Chung Hyeon celebrates after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic yesterday
South Korea's Chung Hyeon celebrates after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic yesterday

"I have to say I'm very grateful I had the chance to play. I didn't know if I'm going to play or not," Djokovic said. "So I played four matches here. It was a good tournament. It's disappointing to go out in the fourth round. The circumstances are such I have to accept it. That's the reality. "It's frustrating when you have that much time and you don't heal properly. But it is what it is. There is some kind of a reason behind all of this."

Chung beats his idol
Hyeon's dream came true yesterday as he dumped six-time champion and his idol Djokovic out of the Australian Open. "I didn't know if I was going to win this match tonight, but I was just honoured to play with Novak again," said Chung. "When I was young I was trying to copy Novak because he's my idol. I'm just trying to play Novak because he playing good in baseline and he is mentally really strong as well. I can't believe this, my dreams came true tonight."

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