‘Djokovic takes medical timeout every time he’s down’

Pablo Carreno Busta wasn't pleased by Novak Djokovic's medical timeouts during their quarterfinal clash

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic overcame a strong start from Pablo Carreno Busta and neck and shoulder issues to score a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win in the quarterfinal of the French Open on Wednesday evening.

The World No 1 had been disqualified from his fourth round clash against the same opponent at last month’s US Open. Frustrated at being down in the opening set, Djokovic had hit a ball against the backboard in anger which accidentally struck a lineswoman in the throat.

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And it looked like the Spaniard had the upper hand at the French Open as well, as he snatched the opening set 6-4.

Djokovic, 33, had walked out on to a chilly Court Philippe Chatrier with the back of his neck taped and he also needed treatment on his upper arm during the match. He took a medical timeout after the first set  and started playing better in the second.

“Every time the match gets complicated, Novak asks for medical assistance,” said Carreno Busta after the match. “Probably the last couple of years, Novak is always doing this when he has problems on the court.”

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“I don’t know; maybe it’s the pressure or something that he needs to do it,” the Spaniard added. “But, I mean, he continues playing normal, no? I don’t know if he’s in real pain, or is it mental; you have to ask him.”

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When asked about any injury worries, Djokovic said, “I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I don’t want to get really too much into it.”

“I definitely didn’t feel great coming into the court today,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion added.

“Few things happened in the warmup. I had to deal with those physical issues coming onto the court. As the match went on, I felt better, didn’t feel as much pain. Especially for set and a half he was the better player, dictating the play. I was very neutral.

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“I didn’t have much of energy really happening in my legs or movement or game itself. It took me about set and a half to really get comfortable.”

The Serb will have about two day’s rest before he takes on young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final at Roland Garros.