Angry Alex de Minaur hits back after being slammed for suggesting Novak was pretending to be injured in Australian Open slaughter
Alex de Minaur has walked back comments suggesting Novak Djokovic was not as injured as he claimed to be, saying his remarks were taken ‘out of context’.
The frosty relationship between the grand slam champion and the rising Aussie star become ice cold after the Serbian blew de Minaur off the court 6-2 6-1 6-2 in their round of 16 Australian Open showdown.
De Minaur and Djokovic exchanged pleasantries, a handshake and an embrace at the net after the match, but there’s been a war of words between the two ever since
Djokovic had been clearly hampered by a leg injury all tournament and said he was relying on ‘pills and hot cream’ to get through the tough scheduling.
He required treatment on his hamstring twice during his third round win over Grigor Dimitrov while he dropped a set and took a lengthy medical break in his round two win over France’s Enzo Couacaud.
However, the Serbian was moving freely and was at his damaging best as he breezed past de Minaur – who then suggested that Novak had been pretending to be hurt.
‘I don’t know. You tell me how you thought he looked out there,’ he said following the rout.
‘Playing him, I thought he was moving pretty well, so… I don’t know.
‘Look, I don’t know. I think everyone’s kind of seeing what’s been happening over the couple of weeks. It’s the only thing everyone’s been talking about.
‘Today I was out there on court against him. Either I’m not a good enough tennis player to expose that, or… it looked good to me. He was just too good in all aspects.’
De Minaur was blown off the court by the nine-time Australian Open champion and questioned how bad his hamstring could have been for him to perform so well
De Minaur then flipped the script on Tuesday, blaming media for twisting his words in a Twitter post.
‘I hate how media will always create controversy and takes things out of context to make a headline,’ he said.
‘Got outplayed and outclassed yesterday. How about we focus on the tennis for once. I will get back to work and improve you can count on that. Thank you Australia.’
Many tennis fans rushed to defend de Minaur for his statements.
‘I doubt Alex thought Novak’s injury was going to affect his performance. Playing at that level you never assume someone will be weaker because of injury. If they were weak they would have withdrawn,’ one replied.
After taking medical timeouts in his round two and three matches at the Australian Open, Djokovic was back to his destructive best against de Minaur
‘You might have been outplayed but you’re a class above Novax, Alex,’ said another.
‘Keep your head up. Novak clearly played unreal level. There are take aways and nothing stopping you from continuing to improve,’ added another.
However others were quick to lash the Aussie for original comments as well.
‘You laughed at Novak’s struggles last year during the entire saga and now you blame the media. You got outplayed and completely outclassed by the same guy yesterday because ‘he wanted to’. Karma,’ a Djokovic fan-made account replied.