Djokovic nears Grand Slam record | Sunday Observer

Djokovic nears Grand Slam record

4 June, 2023
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic says he did not have “time to name the many injuries” he has after navigating his way through a tricky French Open encounter.

The Serb needed treatment on his thigh before securing a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to reach the last 16.

Spanish top seed Carlos Alcaraz also progressed with a 6-1 6-4 6-2 win over Canadian 26th seed Denis Shapovalov.

Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev and Polish 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz were both knocked out in five-setters.

Third seed Djokovic, 36, looked uncomfortable at times against Davidovich Fokina, particularly in the third set after he had received treatment in a medical timeout at the end of the second.

But he came through to move a step closer to winning a record 23rd Grand Slam men’s singles title.

Djokovic is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros this year but came closer than he would have liked against Davidovich Fokina - a player he lost to on the Monte Carlo clay last year - with the first two sets going to tie-breaks and lasting more than three hours combined.

“Sometimes you need help from physio during the match,” said Djokovic. “Sometimes you need pills. Sometimes you need help from the God or angels, or whoever. Sometimes you just have to deal with the reality.”

Asked if he was concerned about his physical state, he added: “We don’t have much time to start to name the many injuries I have, and the list is quite long.

“I don’t want to sit here and talk about these things that are not preventing me from playing. I still kept on playing. These are the circumstances that you, as a professional athlete, have to deal with. Accept it.

“The reality for me nowadays is my body is responding differently than it did few years ago”. (BBC sport)