Grigor Dimitrov says the back spasms that plagued him in his Australian Open defeat rendered him ‘unable to put his socks on.’
Dimitrov was a strong favourite to overcome world number 114 Aslan Karatsev, but despite winning the first set he visibly worsened physically before sinking to defeat in four sets.
After the match, though, he lifted the lid on his injury problems, revealing the full extent of the problem.
“There’s no point in hiding anything,” Dimitrov told the press. “It started yesterday on a regular movement.
“Then it happened early in the match, it kept progressing and was unstoppable. It was his day. Now let’s move on. That’s sport.
“I couldn’t put my socks before the match. So I knew it would be tough.
“I gave it a try because of Grand Slam, adrenaline, I was in a very good shape before. [I’ve] rarely been so well in a Slam.
“Once again, it’s sport. Respect to the guy (Karatsev), always struggling, doing what he was to do.”
Karatsev made history by becoming the first man in the Open Era to reach an Australian Open semi-final on debut, and he will now face either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.
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