All the hours Novak Djokovic is putting into repairing his body between matches at the 2023 Australian Open is starting to pay off.
The 35-year-old Serbian said after his fourth round win over Australian Alex di Minaur that he finally was able to play a painless match for the first time this tournament, but that it has taken a lot of maintenance.
"It's been honestly exhausting to be involved in a lot of different treatments and machines and stuff that we do," Djokovic said after the win. "At the same time ... It is necessary in order to get myself in a condition to play. So I'm really glad that my body has responded really well."
Ahead of the Australian Open, the No. 4 seed questioned whether he would be able to compete after sustaining a hamstring injury earlier this month. The pain continued to affect him throughout the first three rounds in wins over Spain's Roberto Carballés Baena, France's Enzo Couacaud and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.
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Monday night was a much different story.
"To feel really great in terms of mobility and movement of my leg, which is great news. So all in all, perfect match for me tonight," he said.
Djokovic is now three wins away from securing the world No. 1 ranking again and tying the record of 22 Grand Slam titles won with Rafael Nadal. He is also the only major singles champion left in the draw.
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"I mean, I always believe I can go all the way in terms of my tennis," he said. "But the way my leg felt before tonight wasn't giving me too many hopes, so to say, for the entire tournament, to go all the way through. Tonight I feel that, so I feel positive about it."
Djokovic will take on No. 5 seed Russian Andrey Rublev for a spot in the Australian Open semifinals. The match will most likely be played during the Wednesday night session at Rod Laver Arena.