Novak Djokovic has provided an update on his elbow after he survived a scare to win his opening match in Banja Luka. The top seed dropped the opening set to French teenager Luca Van Assche and went an early break down in the final set before rallying to win 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2.
Djokovic has raised injury concerns in recent days as he sported elbow strapping during a practice session in Monte Carlo and in his last two matches – his Monaco defeat and his opening victory in Banja Luka.
Ahead of his first match at this week’s ATP 250 event, the world No 1 confessed that his elbow was “not in an ideal shape but good enough to be ready for the first match.” And the Serb has now issued a new update after surviving a three-set battle in his opening match.
“The elbow is fine, it lasted over two and a half hours of the match and is holding up well,” he said after coming from a set down to defeat the world No 87. Djokovic did confess that the slow conditions weren’t ideal but was feeling good regardless.
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He added: “These conditions are not good for the joints and the elbow, in my case, but I’m glad that I managed to endure everything as it should. I am healthy and eager for new victories.”
It comes after Djokovic branded the newly-built Banja Luka centre court as one of the slowest he’d experienced after outlasting the 18-year-old across two hours and 38 minutes. “It wasn’t easy,” he said after dropping the first set to Van Assche.
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“This would probably rank as the slowest court, slowest conditions I’ve ever played in, to be honest. I couldn’t penetrate through the court. I couldn’t put any ball past him.”
Djokovic will now face countryman Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final. And the world No 70 appears to be loving the conditions as he needed just 64 minutes to power past eighth seed Gregoire Barrere 6-4 6-0 on Thursday.
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