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Could injury force Djokovic out of Australian Open?

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic survived a scare in the third round of the Australian Open and toppled Taylor Fritz 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. However, the 33-year-old looking to win his third consecutive Australian Open suggested after his latest victory that he may have to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury he suffered in the third set of Friday’s match. 

Djokovic’s left foot slipped as he attempted to change directions, and he visibly favored his side during a medical timeout. As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), he identified the injury as some sort of tear during a post-match interview. 

“I know it’s a tear, definitely, of the muscle,” Djokovic explained. “So I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to step out onto the court or not.” 

As things stand on Friday afternoon, Djokovic remains scheduled to face 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in the next round on Sunday, per the ATP website. Fans will not be permitted to watch that match in-person, as the state of Victoria is currently in a five-day lockdown due to the discovery of a COVID-19 cluster. 



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