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Australian OpenSportTennis

Injured Djokovic battles through five-setter

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Australian Open organisers are still unsure if defending men's champion Novak Djokovic will play at next month's Grand Slam

Top seed Novak Djokovic survived a major injury scare as he battled past American Taylor Fritz 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Defending champion Djokovic, seeking a ninth title in Melbourne, looked in command when he took the opening two sets but began to suffer with a side injury early in the third set.

He needed to leave Rod Laver Arena to have treatment and was grimacing in pain at times as the 23-year-old Fritz took advantage to take the next two sets.

The crowd were removed midway through the fourth set as Melbourne’s new COVID-19 lockdown came into effect.

But Djokovic, despite still looking in discomfort, did enough to win the deciding set and live to fight another day.

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