Sport 'Hurt' Djokovic unloads after Australian Open win
Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic vs. Aslan Karatsev, how to watch, when, form, head-to-head, betting, live blog
World number one Novak Djokovic will take on unseeded Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev in Australian Open's men's semi-final on Thursday night (AEDT). The Serbian superstar will be hoping to reach the tournament final, where he will shoot for his 18th grand slam title and ninth at Melbourne Park. This Australian Open is Karatsev's first ever main draw appearance in a grand slam having tried and failed to qualify for a major on nine occasions previously. Sporting News tells you everything you need to know about this intriguing last four match-up.
Nine-timechampion Novak Djokovic says he's "hurt" by constant criticism and "unfair" treatment.
Djokovicin Sunday night's Open final, a triumphant end to a tumultuous journey Down Under.
The world No.1 sparked uproar by issuing a list of requests, including the reduction of quarantine time, early in his stay. He claimed that the list was "misconstrued" as his own demands, rather than representation of the concerns of players in lockdown.
He was also accused of playing-up a mid-tournament injury, which he revealed after the final to be "a muscle tear, of the abdominal oblique muscle". It was, Djokovic insisted, yet became a conspiracy theory.
Australian Open 2021: Men's singles final - Novak Djokovic vs. Daniil Medvedev live scores and blog
Back-to-back defending champion Novak Djokovic is vying for a record ninth Australian Open title in Sunday's epic men's singles final.But a red-hot Daniil Medvedev, riding a 20-match winning streak and a record of 12 straight wins against top 10 opposition, stands in the Serbian's path.
Djokovic might have 18 Grand Slams titles but he remains a polarising figure. It is not a status that pleases him.
"Yeah, of course it hurts. I'm a human being like yourself, like anybody else," he said in his post-final press conference.
"I have emotions. I don't enjoy when somebody attacks me in the media openly and stuff. Of course, I cannot say I don't care about it or whatever.
"Of course, it does [hurt]. I have to be honest. But I think I've developed a thick skin over the years to just dodge those things and focus on what matters to me the most."
Djokovic certainly did that, emerging from the criticism and the injury to thump Medvedev in what most expected to be a tight final. The Serbian great needed the win, according to coach Goran Ivanisevic.
Djokovic staggers on through Open drama
Champion Novak Djokovic had to overcome injury to battle through the third round of the Australian Open with a sensational five-set win over Taylor Fritz.Djokovic, struggling with a side injury, ultimately claimed a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 win over Taylor Fritz but admitted afterwards that he didn't know if he'd be fit for the next round of his title defence at Melbourne Park.
Video: "If you don't mind waiting a few years" - Djokovic plans more titles (Wide World of Sports)
"Actually he needed this victory so badly. There is somebody upstairs who see all this unfairness with a lot of media and people they doing to him," Ivanisevic said.
"He is going through lot of, you know, especially after last year, US Open [disqualification], then pretty poor final of Roland Garros, and is not easy.
"Coming here, he spent 42 days quarantine. Again, he tried to help the players. Again, he's only him. It's his fault, like everybody else attacking to him. Nobody else to attack, so let's attack Novak.
"Then this injury happen out of nowhere. Unbelievable. To be honest, I can't believe that I'm sitting here today talking to you as a member of the team of the guy who won No.9 Australian Open."
Djokovic's mental strength has become formidable over the course of his career. He said that he'd been unable to entirely block out the "unfair" criticism and had forced himself to focus on the task of again winning the Open.
'Mental scarring' standing in Djokovic's way
Todd Woodbridge said that without COVID-19, Novak Djokovic could have won all four majors last year."When he won the Australian Open, he was about to go on a rampage," Woodbridge said on Wide World of Sports' The Morning Serve.
"For me, the main thing was tov really direct all my thoughts and attention and energy into what matters for me the most, which is try to recover, do everything properly, stick to the routines, to the things that make me feel comfortable, and put myself in a best possible state, condition, and position to win matches," he said.
"That's what I've done. It's much easier said than done. I've invested a lot of energy, mental energy mostly, to that. My team that has been staying with me the last couple of weeks in the house, we watched tennis, but we were not following - at least when I was with them, maybe they were following when I was not with them - the news and stuff like this, getting involved and speculating, discussing, having conversations between us about what someone said in the media or whatever.
"I know that's completely unnecessary for me. It did come to me. I mean, sometimes it's really difficult to avoid it in a way. I mean, some of the things that some people say, of course, it does come across here and there when you're watching a tennis match, commentary, someone mentions it, whatever.
Laver hails Djokovic's Open 'sublime 9'
Three-time champions Rod Laver and Mats Wilander have led the tributes to Novak Djokovic after his magnificent ninth Australian Open triumph in Melbourne.The 82-year-old Australian legend loved what he saw of Djokovic's grace under pressure, suggesting that he had stamped his will on Russian Daniil Medvedev in the one-sided final at Melbourne Park.
"In some way or another it comes to you. Of course, it's not nice to hear that. I mean, it also seems unfair from some people that kind of criticise and judge without really checking before.
"But as I said, it's not really the first time. I have so much experience with this because it happened so many times in my life, in my career, that I experience that. It will probably not be the last one.
"Look, at the end of the day everyone who has the stage has the right to say what they want to say. It's a matter on my side whether I'm going to react or not, in which way I'm going to react. I didn't allow it to hinder my performance. I think winning the trophy is in a way my answer.'
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Novak Djokovic frustrated by speculation over Australian Open injury .
Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic says speculation over his abdominal injury has gotten under his skin, particularly with scans revealing it worsened throughout the tournament.Over the past two weeks, people questioned the severity of an abdominal "tear" he said he picked up in a third-round win over Taylor Fritz.