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'I have stretched myself to the limit,' admits Novak Djokovic ahead of Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic backhand Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has said he has had to 'stretch himself to the limit' to keep competing at the Australian Open.

The world number one looked like he was heading out of the competition in the third round when he suffered an injury against Taylor Fritz.

He was up two sets when the abdominal injury occurred, but Fritz took advantage to win the next two and the American then looked a strong favourite in the decider.

Djokovic summoned the strength to win it, though, and he has since marched into the final after slowly improving round-by-round.

And, as he prepares to try and make it nine wins out of nine in Australian Open finals, he knows how hard he has had to work for the opportunity.

"I had to stretch myself to the limit in the last five days," Djokovic said after his semi-final win.

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"The way I felt (physically) surpassed my greatest wishes, but I did have similar experiences where I did manage to recover pretty quickly.

"I didn't think that I would play without pain and I did.

"I've never experienced this kind of an injury, so it's difficult to compare. I had tough matchups as well, guys with big serves and big games.

"I was exhausted after the Alexander Zverev match [in the quarterfinals] and I knew after that win that things would get better."

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