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"A Strange Pop" - Medvedev Explains the Injury that Derailed him in Astana, and Why He Retired against Djokovic

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday, October 8, 2022

Daniil Medvedev was close to defeating Novak Djokovic and taking his place in the Astana Open, but even if he had come through the second-set tiebreak against the Serb on Saturday, he would have likely pulled out of the final.

Tennis Express

“I actually have no idea what is fair,” Medvedev said, according to the ATP, when discussing his decision to retire from Saturday’s semifinal. “If I won, I would not play the final. I was like, ‘OK, I just try to hit some shots’. If I manage to win, well I cannot do anything, I will retire. If I lose, congrats to Novak, he’s still in great shape. Good luck to him in the final.”

Medvedev said he felt a strange pop in his adductor early in the aforementioned tiebreak, and that is what led to his sudden retirement from this heavily anticipated showdown.

“It’s the second time in my life I retired like this with a pulled muscle,” fourth-ranked Medvedev said. “So here, on the second point of the tie-break, I felt a little bit [of a] strange pop in my adductor. I first thought maybe it is cramp and after the point I was like, `No, probably not a cramp.’”

Djokovic didn’t see the retirement coming during the match, as Medvedev didn’t show any signs of the ailment.

“I’m still surprised that he retired the match,” Djokovic said on court. “He looked completely fine, maybe last seven, eight points I’ve seen him move slightly slower, but I mean, it’s a shock – honestly – I was ready for a third set battle.

“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” Djokovic said. “I know Daniil, he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a big competitor. He wouldn’t retire a match if he didn’t feel that he can continue or worsen his injury.”

But Medvedev said it was a no-brainer to retire from the match after the tiebreak – he didn’t want to risk a serious injury.

“And during the tie-break, I felt I can play like five, 10 more points but that’s it,” he said. “If I play one more set, you can do it, but you can probably miss half a year instead of one month.”

Djokovic improves to 7-4 over Medvedev with the victory. He will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday in Kazakhstan.

The Serb has won six straight over the Greek, and holds the 7-2 lifetime edge over Tsitsipas, including 4-0 in finals.

It is not known when Medvedev will return to the court at this time.