Novak Djokovic SMASHES racket in fit of rage against Alexander Zverev at Australian Open

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic discusses injury issues

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Novak Djokovic obliterated a racket during his Australian Open showdown with Alexander Zverev on Tuesday. The Serb was 3-1 down in the third set when he lost his temper. And he ended up losing the game, much to his annoyance. 

Djokovic lost the first set to Zverev, going down 7-6 after an epic tiebreak between the two players.

The Serb then came roaring back in the second set, winning it 6-2 with some bulldozing shots on court.

Djokovic is, however, now facing a shock exit from the competition. And, at 3-1 down in the third set, he smashed his racket three times against the floor as his temper started to get the better of him.

Zverev then held serve and, as things stand, is in pole position to make the last four of the competition.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open title eight times in the past, however, and can’t be entirely ruled out even if he doesn’t appear to be operating at the peak of his powers. 

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Meanwhile, Djokovic has gone into the match carrying an injury.

And, before the game, Zverev’s brother Mischa insisted they wouldn’t let that cast a cloud over their preparations for the match.

“As a player you don’t focus on your game,” Mischa Zverev told Eurosport.

“If you had a scale between 1-10 and you’re injured like seven or eight you know what you’re dealing with.

“But Novak being injured doesn’t mean anything because we don’t know how injured he is, what part of his game is affected – if at all.

“So instead of playing guessing games, you just try and do what you can do and this is focus on your own tennis.

“That’s why we try to keep it out of our thought process.”

In contrast Zverev has only dropped one set in his opening four matches and that could give him a major advantage in the second week of the Grand Slam.

“If you save your energy, it’s a bonus and shouldn’t harm you,” the German’s older brother added.

“If you win matches without really playing them or by walkover that’s a different story as you are saving energy but you don’t get to play the match which is very important.

“Winning in straight sets is always good for your confidence.

“Losing a set or two is also not a bad thing because you are dealing with the situation of losing a set, you’ve been down in a match, it’s also good that you have experienced negative emotions because if you only win in straight sets, then suddenly you get to a tie-break you haven’t been in that situation – it can be a downside.

“It’s good to have tough matches but also to be able to find a solution and win them in three sets.”

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