Novak Djokovic was able to defeat sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev to earn a spot in the Australian Open semifinals, but it was not easy for the defending champion, as he dropped the first set and needed a comeback in the fourth set in order to advance.
The Serbian star won the match in four sets 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (6) but has not looked like his dominant self so far in the tournament, though that may be because he is playing through injury. The world’s No. 1 previously said that he was unsure if he would be able to finish the tournament after claiming to suffer an abdominal tear in his match against Taylor Fritz.
“I know it’s a tear of the muscle, definitely,” Djokovic said after the match. “I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover in less than two days. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to play the next match.”
However, some have questioned if Djokovic’s injury is as serious as he is saying it is, as there has been no proper diagnosis and a legitimate abdominal tear would be extremely difficult to play through. Regardless of the injury and its questionable severity, Djokovic has managed to continue to win and is now on the brink of reaching the Australian Open final for the third consecutive time.
Djokovic will face off against Aslan Karatsev, the 114th-ranked tennis player who became the first man in the professional era to reach the semifinals in his first-ever Grand Slam tournament.