Stefanos Tsitsipas suggests Novak Djokovic was playing the injury card after his stunning loss to Dan Evans in Monte-Carlo yesterday.
The fourth-seeded Greek questioned whether the world No. 1 was truly injured or simply spinning his first loss of the season.
“Djokovic, you said he was injured, right? That’s what he said?” Tsitsipas said in response to a reporter’s question after advancing to the Monte-Carlo quarterfinals. “I don’t know if that was the case. It was a bit surprising. Not only me, but everyone was surprised.
“Good game from Evans. He did everything possible to get him out.”
Two-time Monte-Carlo champion Djokovic said he “just felt awful on the court overall” after bowing to Evans, but did not cite a specific injury in his post-match press conference saying “I don’t want to talk about it.”
The world No. 5 said he’s seen the injury card play before from the 18-time Grand Slam champion.
Tsitsipas remarked Djokovic “claimed to be injured, claimed to have a serious injury” at the Australian Open referencing Djokovic suffering an abdominal strain in Melbourne then playing through the injury to dominate Daniil Medvedev and capture his record-extending ninth Australian Open in January.
“Back to that, Djokovic has played with an injury before, the Australian Open earlier this year, and he seemed to be doing all right. Actually better than all right, to be honest,” Tsitsipas said. “He went away from Melbourne with a title. That was also very surprising to see considering that he claimed to be injured, claimed to have a serious injury.
“I don’t even remember, somewhere in the legs, abdominal, wherever. That was a great performance for him to come back from that and win the title.”
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