Novak Djokovic has confirmed that he suffered an oblique abdominal muscle tear at the Australian Open, and he has blasted the media for their coverage of it.
Djokovic suffered the injury in the third round against Taylor Fritz. After winning the match, he immediately told Eurosport that he believed it was a tear.
Scans confirmed it the following day, yet he chose not to share the results whilst he remained in the tournament.
He kept on winning though, and the better he lived with it the more speculation grew among the media that he was not injured at all, and that has not gone down well with Djokovic.
"It is a muscle tear, oblique abdominal muscle," Djokovic confirmed after he won the final on Sunday. "I felt it right away, I felt the snap.
"It didn't look realistic that I could play. Two hours before the 4R match I stepped on the court and it looked okay.
"The pain was bearable and I accepted the fact that I would have to play with the pain.
"I know there have been many speculations, people saying that it's impossible, but everyone has the right to criticize others. I felt it was a bit unfair at times.
"It took me a lot of mental energy to focus solely on what I need to in order to be able to compete.
"We tried not to talk about what someone says in the media. It does come to me, it's tough to avoid, but it's unnecessary for me.
"It seems unfair from some people to judge without checking first.
"But I have experienced it in the past, it probably isn't the last time. I didn't allow it to hinder my performance, winning the title is my answer.
"I am human, I can't say "I don't care", I do, but I have developed thick skin over the years and I am able to refocus on what matters to me the most."
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