Novak Djokovic is on a 39-match winning streak stretching back to 2018. But he told reporters he’s been hooked up to biomechanical machines rather than be connected to any human while keeping his legs ready for all the gliding and twisting during his winning for a persistent hamstring injury.
“To be honest, I’ve been connected to machines more than I have been connected to anybody else or my bed or anything else really in the days off,” Djokovic told reporters after coolly packing off fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach his 44th grand slam semi-final and 10th at Melbourne Park.
“I’ve tried about any bio-feedback machine there is in this planet in order to get my leg ready and it worked. I’m going to keep going.”
While the breezy win sent an ominous warning to his Australian Open rivals, he revealed he’s been hooked up to machines to treat his lingering hamstring injury for large part of the two weeks.
It was a one sided contest at the Rod Laver Arena against Rublev, 25, as Djokovic reached his 44th grand slam semi-final and 10th at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic meets unseeded American Tommy Paul, who beat compatriot Ben Shelton 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
“Last two matches, playing against two guys that are really good players, in-form players, to beat them dominantly in three sets is something that is definitely something that I want in this moment, something that sends a message to all my opponents remaining in the draw,” he told reporters.
“With this kind of match, of course the confidence level rises, considering the circumstances. I feel good on the court, better and better as the tournament progresses. I’ve been in this situation in so many times in my life, in my career, never lost a semi-final in Australian Open,” he said of the unsurprising yet staggering stat.
Djokovic suffered the hamstring injury in Adelaide as it impacted the Serb’s return to Melbourne Park, after he missed the 2022 tournament being deportated for not being vaccinated against Covid-19. A left thigh strapped has been a constant.
He spoke of his injury management when he was asked about the irony of his easy wins.
“I miss tennis in the days off but at the same time I think it’s important to be smart and wise with the body in these particular circumstances where it’s more important to recover and get ready for next challenge,” he added, after the only mild irritants on the day proved to be windy conditions and a persistent heckler.