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The moment ‘illogical’ Djokovic myth was busted

Jim Courier has defended the legitimacy of Novak Djokovic‘s hamstring injury, despite growing calls the 35-year-old is playing up its severity.

The Serbian appeared a little troubled by his left hamstring early in his quarter-final match with Andrey Rublev, but any discomfort did not translate to the scoreboard as he won comprehensively, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Ahead of the Australian Open, Djokovic revealed he was battling a persistent hamstring complaint.

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Novak Djokovic plays a backhand.

The world No.5 won the Adelaide International earlier this month after sustaining the injury during his semi final victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Following his dominant first week at the Australian Open, a lot of commentary has focused on the injury – with some questioning the impairment and whether Djokovic is overexaggerating its effect.

During his match on Wednesday, Nine commentators Courier and Todd Woodbridge noted how Djokovic was altering his movement patterns to protect his hamstring.

Watch the Australian Open live and free on the Nine Network: Channel 9, 9Gem and 9NOW.

Observing Djokovic avoid sliding on his injured left leg, Courier said any disbelief of the injury would be unfair to the 21-time grand slam winner.

“There’s been a lot of chatter on the grounds here, and I think elsewhere out in the social media stratosphere, where all things are true of course, that Novak isn’t injured,” he said.

“The evidence I would present, if I was presenting the case on his behalf, is simply he’s not moving to the ball and doing that motion as much as he normally would.

Djokovic lob shocks Rublev

“He is making adjustments at a major – a grand slam tournament – that you just would never see him do unless he was concerned about a problem.

“It doesn’t hold up to the logic test that he would be faking this. Makes no sense.

“Because by doing different motions he could risk injuring himself in a different way.”

Speaking post-match, Djokovic said he had “been through hell the last 10 days” with treatments, discussing how his rest and recovery has been different this tournament than in previous years.

He has cancelled several training sessions in between matches throughout the tournament.

“I’ve been connected to machines more than I have been connected to anybody else or my bed or anything else really in the days off,” he said.

“I’ve tried about every biofeedback machine there is on this planet in order to get my leg ready. And it worked. I’m going to keep going.

Djokovic bothered by heckler

“I miss tennis on the days off but at the same time, I think it is important to be smart and wise I guess, with the body and these particular circumstances where it’s more important to recover and get ready for next challenge.”

Prior to the match, Djokovic admitted he has no idea whether his hamstring will continue to hold up, or whether it will bring him down before lifting his 10th Australian Open trophy.

“Honestly I mean the way I felt one week ago I was not thinking at all about the tournament or the trophy, I was thinking to go survive another day,” he told Nine on Tuesday night, after defeating Alex de Minaur.

“But at the same time I do not want to celebrate too early, I know things can change, so let’s see, let’s take it day by day and see how it goes.”

Djokovic will take on American unseeded challenger Tommy Paul on Friday night.

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