Novak Djokovic ‘is made of something else’ says a physio who has explained he must had dealt with severe pain to win the Australian Open.
Spanish website Punto De Break sought out some expert opinion on how Djokovic was able to achieve the remarkable feat.
And, while the physio is unnamed, the explanation offered should dispel any further suggestions the world number one was not genuinely injured in Melbourne.
“The first thing to know is that in the abdominal muscle there are fibres pointing in a thousand directions,” the physio explained.
“It is not like other muscles in other areas. Therefore, it is a very delicate area and very difficult to treat.
“When you have a tear, you have to see in which direction it occurs. If it is against the grain, I would tell you that it is almost impossible to play.
“If it occurs in the same direction, it could be played, but with a lot of pain.
“The depth of that tear would also have to be seen. Djokovic’s leads me to think that it was very shallow.”
The explanation is consistent with that of Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, who revealed a doctor told him that some would be able to deal with the pain, and others wouldn’t.
Djokovic was seen during matches attending to a circular dressing on the injury. That, according to the physio, also offers an explanation of how Djokovic was able to deal with the pain.
“What the dressing does is compress the fibres to prevent them from expanding and breaking further,” he said.
“It is as if you put your hands around yourself.
“The fibres in this area of the body move in one way when pulling out, in another when pulling back, in another when bending over.
“It is difficult to treat and isolate it from everything. Even breathing or going to the bathroom, they act.”
Djokovic also revealed he was not practicing between matches at the Australian Open. Indeed, the only time he took to the practice court after sustaining the injury was between the semi-final and final.
“During the match, adrenaline can cover the pain a bit by releasing hormones in the body like cortisol,” the physio said.
“But the problem comes after the game or with the break on rest days, as is the case in a Grand Slam.
“It is probable that the ATP doctors gave him some oral analgesic measures to alleviate the pain.
“The normal thing in these cases is an enriched plasma treatment to activate the metabolism of the area, but I don’t think this has been done in competition.
“The Djokovic thing, leads me to think that he is made of something else or that the tear is shallow.
“It should not be very deep because if not, I already told you that it is almost impossible to move and less, to hit a ball.
“He has done it, I don’t know how, but he has done it.”
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