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Tiley: Djokovic Won AO with 3 Centimeter Tear in Hamstring

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Novak Djokovic was both torn and triumphant at the Australian Open.

The fourth-seeded Djokovic's run to a record-extending 10th Australian Open title is even more remarkable given a new revelation.

More: Djokovic On Course to Play US Open

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley shared the Wimbledon winner played the tournament with a three centimeter tear in his left hamstring.

Tennis Express

The 35-year-old Serbian superstar sustained the hamstring injury during his victory over Daniil Medvedev in the Adelaide International semifinals earlier this month.

Despite the hamstring tear and the fact Djokovic was giving up 11 years in age to 24-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas—the largest age gap in AO men's final Open Era history—he still prevailed 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 to collect his 22nd Grand Slam crown matching rival Rafael Nadal's men's major mark.

“I think a lot of the challenges around Novak is he gets a bad rap but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone can question his athleticism,” Tiley told SEN. “This guy, I did see he had a three centimeter tear in his hammy. He had a tear (in 2021) in his stomach."

Critics question the severity of Djokovic's injury during the Melbourne fortnight. That skepticism prompted Djokovic to suggest there's a double-standard with some media and fans when it comes to play injuries.

“When some other players are injured they are the victims,” Djokovic told the media in Melbourne. “But when it is me, I am faking it.”

Asked directly if he had seen the MRI scan showing Djokovic's hamstring tear, Tiley told SEN "absolutely."

“The doctors are going to tell you the truth," Tiley said. “I think there was a lot of speculation on whether it was true or not.

“It’s hard to believe that someone can do what they do with those types of injuries, but he’s remarkable.”

Photo credit: Getty