Former world number 1 in doubles Paul McNamee defended Novak Djokovic from the criticisms he received for the injury at the Australian Open 2023, through a post on Twitter. He wrote: “I want to be very clear: in the first week of the tournament, Novak Djokovic moved really badly.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out he had an injury. He handled it with great intelligence and proved to be a living legend. How did he do it? The reason is simple: he’s still the best player in the world and has a consistent margin over everyone else.” The Serbian champion will be busy in Dubai at the end of February (February 27th – March 4th), but he will have to miss the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami just like last year.
The ATP number 1 cannot yet enter the USA due to his vaccination status and will hardly try to force the situation. Nole him could be overtaken in the standings by Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Why Nole was criticized in Melbourne
On Sunday January 29, Novak Djokovic overtook Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his 10th Australian Open.
The Serbian phenomenon has hooked his eternal rival Rafael Nadal at 22 Grand Slams and will try to overtake already at Roland Garros, scheduled for the end of May on the red clay in Paris. As if that weren’t enough, the 35-year-old from Belgrade returned to the top of the world rankings by ousting Carlos Alcaraz from the throne after 20 weeks of reign.
Nole dominated the AOs far and wide, dropping just one set in seven games. The player coached by Goran Ivanisevic showed up in Melbourne with a left hamstring injury, but his level was impressive from the round of 16 onwards.
Many even questioned the veracity of that issue, an attitude that ended up annoying Novak himself. On the sidelines of the tournament, AO director Craig Tiley revealed that Djokovic played with a three-centimeter tear in his left thigh.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion had managed a very similar feat in 2021, when he was one step away from retirement during the match against the American Taylor Fritz.