Injured Djokovic arrives on court in full body cast, wins in straight sets
Injury-plagued world number one Novak Djokovic shocked tennis fans today, entering the Rod Laver Arena for his Australian Open quarter-final match on a wheelchair, wearing a full body cast.
The Serbian tennis star suffered an abdominal injury during his third round match against America's Taylor Fritz, and after eventually winning in five sets claimed he had suffered a severe muscular tear and would likely not be able to play his fourth round tie against Miles Raonic.
But the valiant Serb, a champion eight times in Melbourne, somehow managed to overcome the tear (which typically take weeks to heal) in just two days, beating Raonic in four sets.
After his miraculous comeback from what was surely a season-threatening injury, the Djoker again cast doubts on whether or not he would be able to play his next match, this time against world number 7, Alexander Zverev.
But as the great Freddie Mercury once sang, 'the show must go on'. The 33-year-old, just three slams behind (17) longtime rivals Federer and Nadal (20) on the all-time list, isn't going to give up another chance for a title that easily.
A determined Djokovic glided into Rod Laver Arena on a wheelchair, racket in hand and a smile on his face. Well, at least we presume he was smiling, as he was also covered head to toe in plaster cast. Why he needed to cover his entire body for an abdominal strain is anyone's guess, but he's always had a flair for the dramatic.
It didn't seem to hinder his performance, however, as he hit 54 winners to Zverev's 134 unforced errors including 67 double faults and rolled into the semi-finals for the ninth time in his glittering career.