Novak Djokovic admits he needs more time to recover after Melbourne defeat

A trainer works on the elbow of Serbia's Novak Djokovic during his fourth round match against South Korea's Chung Hyeon at the Australian Open. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Novak Djokovic admits he needs more time to recover after Melbourne defeat

LONDON: Novak Djokovic admitted he may need yet more time on the sidelines after he was stunned was stunned in straight sets by Hyeon Chung.
The 58th-ranked Chung relentlessly attacked Djokovic — who is playing his first tournament since Wimbledon because of an injured right elbow — in the 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 fourth-round win.
Djokovic, a five-time winner of the year’s first Grand Slam, played in great discomfort with a recurrence of his right elbow injury. And as if that was not bad enough he also appeared to be suffering from possible hip/groin problems.
And that left the former world No. 1 to contemplate another sustained stint out of action.
“Yeah, unfortunately, it’s not great. Kind of end of the first set it (elbow) started hurting more. So, yeah, I had to deal with it till the end of the match,” Djokovic said.
“Now I don’t know. I have to reassess everything with my team, medical team, coaches and everybody, scan it, see what the situation is like,” he added.
“In the last couple weeks I’ve played a lot of tennis. Let’s see what’s happening.”
Having only confirmed his appearance at the tournament a week before the first round making it as far as the fourth round does constitute some sort of success for the 30-year-old. The elbow injury had prevented him from hitting a shot in anger since last summer and he was at least able to take the positive out of the negative of an early exit.
“I have to say I’m very grateful I had the chance to play. I didn’t know if I’m going to play or not,” Djokovic said.
“So I played four matches here. It was a good tournament. It’s disappointing to go out in the fourth round. The circumstances are such I have to accept it. That’s the reality.
“It’s frustrating when you have that much time and you don’t heal properly. But it is what it is. There is some kind of a reason behind all of this.”
However, Djokovic was keen to stress that Chung more than deserved his win.
“I don’t want to talk about my injury tonight because then I’m taking away Chung’s victory, the credit that he deserves,” the Serb said.


Shane Watson ton takes Chennai Super Kings to third IPL title

Updated 12 min 20 sec ago
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Shane Watson ton takes Chennai Super Kings to third IPL title

  • Australian hits 117 off 57 balls as Chennai chase down 178-6
  • 'He is a world class player'

MUMBAI: Shane Watson fought through the pain barrier to smash an unbeaten 117 as Chennai Super Kings thrashed Sunrisers Hyderabad to win their third Indian Premier League title in a spectacular return from a two-year corruption ban.
The 36-year-old Australian, struggling with a hamstring injury, hit eight sixes and 11 fours in a stunning 57-ball innings as Chennai took just 18.3 overs to overcome Hyderabad’s 178-6 off 20 overs.
Chennai finished on 181-2 to crush their opponents by eight wickets. They have now equalled the Mumbai Indians in winning the world’s wealthiest cricket tournament for the third time since it started in 2008.
Ambati Rayudu who hit a four to complete victory was also unbeaten on 16 in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, which was packed with more than 33,000 fans.
He led tributes to Watson.
“His experience saw us through. He is a world class player and when he is there anything can happen,” Rayudu said.
Hyderabad coach Tom Moody added Watson had produced “something special.”
But the Australian hero said he had been happy to get through the night because of his injury and after failing to score a run in the first 10 balls of his innings.
“I knew I had to start getting runs quickly after those 10 balls,” he said.
“We had to get the rate back up to a run a ball. But once the ball stopped swinging, it became easier.”
Watson has had longstanding hamstring problems which has worsened as the gruelling IPL season reached the finale.
“Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on for dear life,” he said, praising coach Stephen Fleming and captain M.S. Dhoni for the way he had been protected in games.
Chennai, IPL winners in 2010 and 2011, were banned for two seasons in 2015 along with Rajasthan Royals after team officials were found guilty of involvement in illegal gambling.
Dhoni won the toss and put Hyderabad into bat. Their New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hit a top-score 47 as Sunrisers posted 178-6.
The 27-year-old Williamson, a last minute replacement for scandal-tainted David Warner as captain, has been an impressive leader, amassing 735 runs including eight half centuries in 17 matches.
He was supported by Yusuf Pathan who hit an unbeaten 45 off 25 balls, including four fours and two sixes. Carlos Brathwaite also hit an 11-ball 21 to help Hyderabad add 52 runs in the last five overs.
But after reining in Watson at the start and taking South African opener Faf du Plessis for 10 in the third over, the Hyderabad bowlers were put to the sword.
Watson and Suresh Raina put on a swashbuckling 117-run second-wicket stand with Raina hitting 32.
Afghanistan teen sensation Rashid Khan returned figures of 0-24 for Hyderabad but Watson hit the other bowlers to every corner of the stadium.
The big-hitting Aussie allrounder plundered 27 runs off one over of paceman Sandeep Sharma.
Watson took a single off Khan to bring up his hundred in 51 balls and then acknowledged a standing ovation from the Chennai dugout and the crowd with his team already in sight of their IPL triumph.
Watson was just one of nine members of the Chennai squad to be aged over 30. But triumphant captain Dhoni, who has also won three IPL titles, said agility was more important.
“It is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect,” said the former India captain, 36.
“What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn’t matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20 — you have to be agile.”
But Dhoni acknowledged that he could not push his whole team to run like a 20-year-old. “If I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he’ll burst his hamstring and won’t be available for the next game.
“So what you tell yourself is that they have to commit and try, but there’s no point getting injured for a single.”
The winners of the final were guaranteed a minimum $4 million in prize money.