Overwhelming Australian Open favourite Novak Djokovic’s return to Melbourne Park didn’t got to plan after the nine-time champion ended a practice match early after appearing to hurt his knee.
Djokovic, who has been installed as $1.80 TAB favourite to win the event after storming to victory in the Adelaide International last weekend, was playing a scheduled match against Daniil Medvedev on centre court.
But the match was ended after just one set, which Djokovic lost, after he hurt his knee.
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Djokovic, who is playing in the Australian Open a year after being deported because of his vaccination status, received medical treatment at least three times as he tried to play on.
But the world No.5 was not moving fluently across the court as he battled on, eventually calling it quits after 38 minutes to seek more treatment.
Djokovic won the Adelaide International despite feeling a pulling on his hamstring which required a medical timeout during the tournament.
“When the pills kicked in, I guess, after a few games, when it was warm enough, I felt OK. Let’s see how it feels when I wake up tomorrow,” he said after Sunday’s final.