Frustrated by the way the media treated him concerning the abdominal tear that he suffered in his third-round match at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic promised the media that he would reveal more details at the end of the tournament.
The World No.1 did that on Monday in Melbourne, after a trip to Brighton Beach to pose with his the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time, Djokovic told assembled media that his injury had grown significantly during the last week.
Djokovic told reporters that he had conducted an MRI that morning and learned that his tear had grown from 17 to 25 millimeters. If you’re scoring at home, 25 millimeters is equal to just about an inch.
That information comes after a period in which many expressed sarcasm about the severity of Djokovic’s injury. On Sunday after he defeated Daniil Medvedev for the Australian Open title Djokovic opened up about the subject. He said that he couldn’t really avoid hearing the buzz in the media. When he wasn’t training he was working tirelessly to recover from the injury, but whenever he flipped on the TV he’d hear the talking heads going on about it.
“Of course, it’s not nice to hear that,” he said. I mean, it also seems unfair from some people that kind of criticize and judge without really checking before. But as I said, it’s not really the first time.”
One of his coaches Goran Ivanisevic, talked about it as well on Sunday night, after the final.
“Actually he needed this victory so badly,” the Croatian legend said. “There is somebody upstairs who see all this unfairness with a lot of media and people [what they are] doing to him.”
Djokovic says it is hardly the first time that the media has given him a raw deal.
“I have so much experience with this because it happened so many times in my life, in my career, that I experience that,” he said. “It will probably not be the last one.”
In the end the Serb had everything to smile about, whether the public believes in the severity of his injury or not.
“I think winning the trophy is in a way my answer,” he said.
Djokovic says he’ll need to take some time off to heal the injury, and he schedule, at least for now, remains open. He’ll likely be home with his family, resting up when he cracks his next milestone on March 8. That’s the day Djokovic will pass Roger Federer to break the ATP record for most weeks at No.1. It will be week No.311 for Djokovic, and based on the way he played at Australia, he may be holding on to that top spot for a while longer.