Fears are mounting that Novak Djokovic could be forced to withdraw from the Australian Open after a scheduled practice session was reportedly cancelled.
The nine-time champion has been battling a hamstring injury suffered during the Adelaide International a week ago.
While he participated in an exhibition match on Friday night, so too did Nick Kyrgios – and the Aussie withdrew from the tournament earlier on Monday.
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Long-time Djokovic watcher Sasa Ozmo reported Djokovic’s scheduled 7pm AEDT practice had been cancelled, while fellow reporter Ben Rothenberg suggested “a few” sessions had been cut short or axed entirely over the last week.
He said “concern (was) mounting” over Djokovic’s tournament future.
But images later emerged on Monday night of Djokovic having a hit on an outside practice court, with his left leg heavily strapped.
“I’ve been struggling with (the hamstring) a bit, to be honest, the last seven days,” Djokovic said on Saturday.
“But it’s hopefully not the major concern. So far I’ve been able to train, compete and play points, practice sets. Obviously, I’m being a bit more cautious.
“I’m not going full out on the training sessions, conserving the energy for next week. Hopefully it won’t cause an issue for me then.”
Djokovic is scheduled to open his tournament on Tuesday night against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena on Rod Laver Arena.
Originally published as ‘Concern mounting’ Djokovic may quit Aus Open after worrying move