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Mystery surrounds Novak Djokovic’s ‘injury’ after play begins against Milos Raonic

Novak Djokovic sprays photographers for sitting down in the empty grandstand by saying ‘it’s not their place’ – after winning the first set against Milos Raonic and overcoming mystery ‘injury’

  • The World No. 1 is on Rod Laver Arena vying for a place in the Open quarterfinals 
  • Early in the first set, Djokovic’s injury doesn’t appear to be causing him any pain
  • During the first set the star player sprayed photographers for sitting down 
  • Djokovic didn’t want TV crews to film him warming up on John Cain Arena 
  • Djokovic crouched over in pain during his victory over Taylor Fritz on Friday 

Novak Djokovic has criticised photographers who chose to sit down in the empty grandstands to shoot his game against Canadian Milos Raonic, saying ‘it’s not their place’.

The World No. 1 wasted no time asking for a last-minute seating change at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, calling out to the umpire for the photographers to be moved.

‘Why are the photographers standing behind? It’s not their place. They’re supposed to be out there or on the side,’ Djokovic said.

Commentator Todd Woodbridge fired back at the Serbian athlete, feeling as though it was of little importance to the game.   

The World No. 1 wasted no time asking for a last-minute seating change at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, calling out to the umpire for the photographers (pictured) to be moved

The World No. 1 is vying for a place in the quarterfinals on Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena

The World No. 1 is vying for a place in the quarterfinals on Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena

‘They’ve been sitting there all day for every match that’s been here since the start of today and probably yesterday as well,’ he said.

‘You hear Novak saying “they’re not allowed to sit there, they’ve got to sit on the side of the court” but given the circumstances, they can be in any part of the arena to take a photograph today.’

It comes as Djokovic closed the first set of the game with a win despite fears his play might not be up to scratch as a result of a ‘stomach injury’.

Djokovic on Friday was seen crouching over in pain after suffering a tear in an abdominal muscle in his third round victory over American Taylor Fritz.

The 33-year-old staged a miraculous recovery in the decider, having gurned his way through losing sets three and four following a nasty slip behind the baseline. 

But early in the first set on Sunday night, Djokovic’s injury didn’t appear to be causing him any pain.

Canada's Milos Raonic in action during his fourth round match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic

Canada’s Milos Raonic in action during his fourth round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic of Serbia receives medical attention during his third match against Taylor Fritz on Friday

Novak Djokovic of Serbia receives medical attention during his third match against Taylor Fritz on Friday 

‘He (Djokovic) is on edge at the moment, coming off that injury cloud as well. He is playing a dangerous opponent tonight who can take the racquet out of his hand as well,’ commentator and tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt said.

There are doubts over whether the Serb will be able to make it through the entire match.

Djokovic, who forwent training on Saturday to seek medical treatment, said he couldn’t guarantee he’d be able to play at Sunday’s fourth round clash. 

‘I’m very proud,’ Djokovic said after the match.

‘At the same time, sad and worried, because it’s definitely something serious happening with my injury. I don’t have much time to recover for the next match.’

On Sunday at about 5pm, just hours before the match, he was seen training inside the gym at Melbourne Park. 

Then at 7:05pm footage was aired of Djokovic warming up on John Cain Arena, where he reportedly didn’t want TV cameras to film him. 

‘He’s going to be fine,’ commentator Todd Woodbridge said. 

‘I’d say the rest of the field, watch out, because we’ve seen him do these types of things before – have a bit of a hiccup and still win majors.’ 

Australian tennis star John Millman called Djokovic’s ailment a ‘mystery ailment’.  

Djokovic has long been plagued by injury, resulting in him retiring hurt 14 times over the course of his career.  

Djokovic was forced to withdraw from his 2019 fourth-round US Open match against Stan Wawrinka due to a shoulder injury.

Djokovic was seen crouching over in pain after suffering a tear in an abdominal muscle in his third round victory over American Taylor Fritz last week

Djokovic was seen crouching over in pain after suffering a tear in an abdominal muscle in his third round victory over American Taylor Fritz last week 

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