Novak Djokovic had to deal with his left leg problem once again in Australia, but he still managed to get through the second round and beat a brave Enzo Couacaud in four sets. After dominating the first set, the Belgradean started stretching to warm up the muscle in his left leg and was forced to ask for medical time out during the second set.
The Serbian made some unusual mistakes and showed difficulty moving towards the left side of the court. However, the physiotherapist's intervention helped Djokovic, who put the lost tie-break behind him and reacted well in the third and fourth quarters of the game, leaving only two games to his rival.
Djokovic: "I'm worried. I'll try to play"
Djokovic explained at the press conference: "Obviously, I'm happy that I managed to win this match in four sets. Congratulations to Enzo for playing very well in the second set. A lot of things happened during the match.
We both called a medical time out. The situation related to my injury is not ideal. I don't want to go into details. I wish my feelings were different, but it is what it is. I have to think day after day. The good thing is that in Grand Slam tournaments you always have a day off between matches, so you have some time to recover and get ready for the next match.
That's what I'm going to do. Basically I don't train on the days in between, because I'm trying to give myself as much time as possible for my leg to reach an 'ideal' state to play at a high level. I'm worried. I can't say I'm not.
I have reason to be concerned. But at the same time I have to accept the circumstances and try to fix things with my team. My physios are doing everything possible to allow me to play every game. There isn't much else to talk about.
There are two choices: quit or carry on. So I will continue. I will try to play and compete with a great player like Grigor Dimitrov in a couple of days. I know the matches will get tougher and tougher. Two years ago I experienced a similar situation in Australia with a different muscle tear.
Somehow I made it and won the tournament. It's different now, of course. I don't know how my body will react. I hope for the best, for a successful outcome. We'll see how things go."