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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)
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.