Novak Djokovic raises fresh injury fears as Serb takes tablet from physio

Novak Djokovic sparked new fears over a potential physical issue as he called the physio to the court during his Italian Open match against Holger Rune. The top seed had dropped the opening set 6-2 and was three games into the second when he asked for the trainer during a changeover.

Djokovic found himself in some trouble at the Italian Open on Wednesday as he quickly dropped the opening set of his quarter-final match 6-2 to Rune. The top seed looked flat compared to his young opponent and had already been dealing with some injury issues coming into the match.

He raised further concern about his physical state when he called the physio to court while leading 2-1 in the second set. After saving a break point, Djokovic was seen in a discussion with the trainer before a second medic gave him a tablet, which he took before returning to the court.

The world No 1 has had several physical problems in recent weeks – most notably with his elbow. Djokovic wore strapping on it during Monte Carlo and Banja Luka before the injury saw him miss the Madrid Open.

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The 35-year-old was seen wearing the support again in his opening match in Rome, later revealing that he opted to put it on after the first game because it was cold. And he suffered a new injury setback on Tuesday ahead of his match against Cameron Norrie.

The match was delayed by a few minutes as Djokovic was in the treatment room when the pair were set to take to the court. Commentators reported that the top seed had pulled a shoulder muscle during his morning warm-up and went straight to the room from the practice court.

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Djokovic later refused to divulge the details of what the physical issue was while complaining about the lack of practice courts available that morning. “Well, yes, I had something, but don’t want to talk about that too much,” he said after winning 6-3 6-4.

“We had a late warmup today. The courts, practice courts, there were only two practice courts available to practice for so many players. It was not an ideal preparation for the match. I finished my warmup 10 minutes before the match. It was cold. Try to do everything in time. That’s it.

“I got the permission from supervisor to have an extra seven, eight minutes, and that’s all it was.”

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