Novak Djokovic, world number one pulled out of the Adelaide exhibition event just moments before he was scheduled to take on Jannik Sinner. However, the Serbian returned to action after his replacement, Filip Krajinovic won the first set against Sinner.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and Venus Williams are among the stars that are playing the ‘A Day at the Drive’ exhibition event in Adelaide. However, Novak Djokovic had blisters on his right hand, so he had initially decided against taking the court against Jannik Sinner.
Novak Djokovic was seemingly fine after Krajinovic won the first set as Djokovic went on to claim the second set, 6-3. Speaking after the match, the Serbian stated why he did not take the court in the first instance.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t step on the court from the beginning,” Djokovic said. “I had to do some treatment with my physio and I wasn’t feeling my best the last couple of days. I didn’t know how I was going to react, but I wanted to play, I wanted to get out here,” he said.
The emotion was so strong in me to come out on the court today: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic added that it was not easy for him to play with a blister. However, the Serbian asserted that they were athletes and it was a part of their job.
“It’s not easy (to play with a blister) but it is part of what we do,” the Serb added. “We’re professional athletes and we learn over the years to play with pain and it’s just a question of whether that pain is bearable or not,” the Serbian said.
Novak Djokovic then went to explain why he returned in the second set against Jannik Sinner. The sheer excitement of seeing the full stands, was too much for Djokovic to resist.
“Coming off a hard training block and having the ATP Cup and Australian Open around the corner, you don’t want to risk it too much,” Djokovic said. “The emotion was so strong in me to come out on the court today to see full stands and I just had to play,” the Serbian added.