Title favorite Novak Djokovic took the next hurdle on the way to his 22nd Grand Slam title, but revealed problems with his injured thigh again. In the second round of the Australian Open, the top Serbian player defeated Frenchman Enzo Couacaud 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0. Drunken fans in the stands also caused resentment, and Djokovic had them thrown out of the stadium.
“To be honest, it’s not good at all,” said Djokovic at Eurosport about his injury: “I look from day to day. It was better in my first match. Ultimately, it depends on the good Lord.”
After a problem-free first set, Djokovic struggled with his left thigh in the second round. The former world number one was treated, but continued to move out of round and lost the set in the tie-break.
Djokovic’s condition then visibly improved – he left the world number 191. in the further course of the match no longer come close to winning a set. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (No. 27) is now waiting for the 35-year-old in round three.
Djokovic’s concentration in the fourth set was only disturbed by repeated heckling from a small group of apparently drunk fans. “He’s completely drunk and wanted to provoke me from the start. He’s not here to watch tennis,” the Serb complained to the chair umpire about a particularly loud spectator – with success: a little later the men were escorted out of the stadium.
On the way to his tenth title in Melbourne, Djokovic has one less major competitor: After Rafael Nadal, who was in first place, had already retired, number two on the seeding list, Casper Ruud, also said goodbye. The Norwegian surprisingly lost his second round match against Jenson Brooksby (USA) in four sets.
The British double Olympic champion Andy Murray, on the other hand, remains in the tournament thanks to a comeback. After his spectacular five-set win over Matteo Berrettini (Italy) in round one, the three-time Grand Slam winner also won his next marathon match. After almost six hours, the 35-year-old converted the first match point at 4:06 a.m. local time to 4: 6, 6: 7 (4: 7), 7: 6 (7: 5), 6: 3 and 7: 5 against the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. In round three, Murray meets Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain / No. 24).