Novak Djokovic is still set to play in the Australian Open despite being forced to withdraw with injury from a practice match at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.
The world No.5 quit the exhibition contest against Daniil Medvedev after one set because of an apparent left hamstring issue.
The Sporting News has all the latest on the superstar’s fitness.
What is Novak Djokovic’s injury?
It’s the same hamstring which Djokovic had issues with in South Australia last week, where he still managed to claim the Adelaide International title on his first visit to Australia since being deported in 2021.
The practice match with Medvedev was supposed to last 75 minutes, but Djokovic walked off the court after 36 minutes after losing the first set 6-4 to the Russian.
Djokovic broke Medvedev in the first game of the match but started having issues with his hamstring in the fifth game.
The injury also comes before Djokovic is set to play Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster exhibition match at a sold-out Rod Laver Arena on Friday night.
However, the Serbian is still lined up to play that practice match, meaning it’s likely he will then feature at the Australian Open in his quest to win a 22nd Grand Slam.
When is Kyrgios vs Djokovic?
The exhibition match between Kyrgios and Djokovic will be played at 7:00pm (AEDT) on Friday, January 13 at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park.
Conditions of the match will be ‘perfect practice’, which includes officials, umpires and ball kids.
How to watch Kyrgios vs Djokovic on TV or live stream?
For fans based in Australia, Kyrgios vs Djokovic will be broadcast live and free on Channel 9 and available for streaming on 9Now.
The showdown will also be live-streamed on the Australian Open TV YouTube channel.
Is there a ‘bromance’ between Kyrgios and Djokovic?
After Kyrgios called Djokovic a ‘tool’ in 2021 following his complaints regarding lockdown hotels on the ATP tour, the relationship between the pair has been repaired, with it seeming like they are now good friends.
The improvement in relationship occurred after Kyrgios supported Djokovic’s quest to get a visa for Australian Open 2022, while it continued to flourish as the duo fought each other in the Wimbledon 2022 final.
Just prior to the recent New Year, Kyrgios used his Instagram to hint that he and Djokovic could play doubles together in the future.
“I wasn’t his favourite guy – let’s take it that way – for many years,” Djokovic said of the relationship with Kyrgios.
“But he was one of the very few that stood by me last year, and I respect that and appreciate that.
“In those moments you can actually see who truly supports you and who is by your side and who goes with the flow of the society and the pressures that media puts on you.
“He was giving undivided support in the moments where I was being challenged a lot, and him as an Australian, I respected that a lot.
“Since then, our relationship has changed for the better.”