novak, faking injury?

novak, faking injury?
from the start of the 2023 aussie open, novak djokovic was very vocal about having a hamstring injury. but after crushing alex de minaur in the 4th round, the ny post said skepticism about his injury intensified
  • he keeps talking about his injury, but he’s “cruised” through the first 4 rounds
  • he said he’s been treating his leg carefully and that it did feel better against de minaur
  • he won the match 6-2, 6-1, 6-2
after the match de minaur seemed to suggest that novak was just fine, reported the daily mail. tho a day later de minaur said the media twisted his words
  • he said, “i think everyone’s kind of seeing what’s been happening over the [past] couple of weeks. . . either i’m not a good enough tennis player to expose that, or. . . it looked good to me”
  • but he didn’t like that some interpreted it as questioning novak’s injury
  • the next day he told the media he’d simply been “outplayed”
broadcaster todd woodbridge acknowledged novak’s injury is legit, but said he was obviously exaggerating it. it’s one of his mental tricks -- wide world of sports
  • djokovic likes to use mental tricks to gain an advantage
  • it’s not gamesmanship, there’s a clear injury
  • but “he’s playing it up nicely here and there”
  • he channels that energy to get himself going
novak called the narrative “interesting”, and said people doubt his injuries more than they do other players’. he uses it as “extra motivation”
  • he injured his leg in a “warm-up tournament” before the open
  • he’s got the medical records to prove it, but might just keep them to himself
  • he said, “only my injuries are questioned. when some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, i am faking it”
  • but all that just adds fuel to his competitive fire
his former coach boris becker had novak’s back: novak wouldn’t fake an injury. and anyway he’s got a history of issues with his leg
  • becker said, “sometimes you think he’s bluffing or can’t finish the game. it’s a bit of heaven and hell. that also makes it difficult for the opponent. but novak wouldn’t behave like that if he had nothing”
  • he coached novak to 6 grand slam titles between 2013 to 2016
american player taylor fritz also came to novak’s defense. he said most players are dealing with some kind of injury, but the media only focuses on those at the top
  • players w/o injuries are the exception, not the rule
  • sometimes a player might ham up an injury, but who cares?
  • if it helps them compete, that’s great
sports doc peter larkins cited novak’s commitment to his health as the reason he’s able to play through injury. he’s just so “in tune with his body” -- theage.com
  • novak can tell when even the slightest thing is off with his body
  • he’s managing it really carefully
  • former player pat cash pointed out that novak is super dedicated to his health and that keeps him on the court
  • “he is always exploring, trying different things, coming up with solutions to aid his recovery. he just puts the hours in and recovers”
faking injuries is just one of many myths about novak that need to be put to bed, wrote tennis365. he’s got nothing to gain by pretending to be hurt. let’s cut the crap and just celebrate his greatness!
  • the media likes to use novak to stir up drama
  • it helps bring more attention to the sport
  • but the tennis community needs to let these narratives go
  • it’s time to simply appreciate novak for the amazing player that he is!
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