Novak Djokovic injury scare as Australian Open star takes medical timeout

Novak Djokovic defeats Zverev to reach ATP finals last four

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Novak Djokovic was forced to take a medical timeout during his third round clash with Taylor Fritz in Melbourne, sparking fears he has an injury. 

Djokovic coasted through the first two sets, winning 7-6 and 6-4.

But after a close-fought start to the third, he appeared to be struggling with an issue in his chest.

The world number one appeared unable to move for any shots on the forehand side, and struggled to move about the court.

He managed to maintain his composure and keep hitting shots when he could, but it was clear to see he was grimacing whenever he had to move to the right.

Djokovic then had a medical timeout and appeared to have some treatment to his right lower rib.

His serve speed dropped dramatically – by 11mph – after he suffered the injury.

His trainer came onto the court to help him and rub some sort of ointment onto his skin, but Djokovic still didn’t look comfortable when he returned to play.

On his service game, Djokovic made numerous unforced errors and looked to be uncomfortable even standing and hitting forehand shots. 

His pain was exhibited by his play when 4-3 down on serve in the third.

Djokovic missed a standard forehand shot and allowed Fritz to break him and put himself in a position to serve for the set.

The crowd at the Rod Laver Arena didn’t hide their allegiances, and continued to cheer Fritz on as he blitzed his way to hold for the set, not dropping a point in the third set. 

During the break between sets, Djokovic was in need of another medical assistance, but was unable to do so having already received help.

Instead, he was forced to rub the ointment on himself, and walked back towards the court to serve while still clutching at his side.

As the Australian crowd rained down a chorus of boos, both players turned to see a message on the big screen instructing them that they must leave within the next 20 minutes, despite being three sets into a five-set game.T

Newly-implemented lockdown restrictions in Melbourne state all residents must be home by midnight local time, with the message going up at 23.10 local time.

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