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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Timeless champion Novak Djokovic is on wrist watch ahead of his Australian Open title defense.

Playing with a wore wrist he said hampered his serve and forehand, world No. 1 Djokovic suffered a shock 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Alex De Minaur at the United Cup in Perth.

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The 10-time Australian Open champion said afterward he feels he will be okay for launch of his AO title defense on January 14th.

"I think I'll be okay, to be honest," Djokovic told the media in Perth. You know, it did have quite an impact, you know, particularly on the forehand and serve.

"Again, I don't want to be spending too much time talking about it and taking away credit, the victory from de Minaur. I mean, he was just very solid, as he always is.

"Congrats to him, to Australian team, and, you know, it is what it is for us. I guess we move on, and for me, with my thoughts in Melbourne."

Embed from Getty Images

The 24-time Grand Slam champion, who took treatment for his wrist issue during the United Cup, saw his streak of 42 consecutive victories on Australian soil snapped by the Aussie No. 1.

It was Djokovic's first defeat down under since Hyeon Chung swept him in the 2018 AO round of 16.

Despite the defeat and cranky wrist, Djokovic said he's confident he'll be ready to post and play in Melbourne.


Because the 36-year-old Serbian superstar has overcome in injury to win recent AO championships.
"Just trying to recover, first of all, with the wrist and everything I have been struggling with the last couple of days, and  just following the routine of recovery and training and building the form for Australian Open," Djokovic said. "The process is not strange to me. It's not unusual.

"I've been in this kind of situation so many times and I know what I need to do along with my team to get myself ready. Of course you never know what can happen. Last two years I've been injured just before Australian Open, and managed to win both Australian Opens... sorry, last two out of three years, '21 and '23.

"So I hope that I will not be injured this time around, you know. That's what we're going to work on, to get my body in the right shape, optimal state, so that I can perform at the high level throughout hopefully the entire Australian Open."

Photo credit: Paul Kane/Getty