Djokovic suffers injury scare in Perth
Tennis:Novak Djokovic was today given a fitness scare in the build-up to his Australian Open defence at the Hopman Cup. The Serbian limped away from court following his singles win over Andreas Seppi, with a railing falling on his leg while he signed autographs for fans.
The 25-year-old recovered sufficiently to partner Ana Ivanovic in the doubles, though, as his country beat Italy 3-1 on day three of the tournament in Perth.
It capped a hectic day for Djokovic, who was a late arrival on the west coast after winning an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
He still beat Seppi 6-3 6-4, even if he admitted to not being entirely present on court.
“I arrived quite late last night and didn’t get a lot of hours of sleep and I felt like I was dream-walking,” he said after the match. “I broke the ice after the first set and felt a little bit better.”
With Ivanovic having already seen off Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-4, the duo then saw off their counterparts 6-0 6-4.
The Australian Open starts on January 14th, with Rafael Nadal, who Djokovic beat in this year’s final, having already withdrawn citing illness.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki's preparations for the event received a big setback after she was bundled out of the Brisbane International by Kazakhstan's world number 103 Ksenia Pervak.
Wozniacki's defeat completed a poor 12 months in which the Dane relinquished the number one ranking and failed to threaten at any of the Major championships.
The world number 10 started strongly but wilted as Pervak, a 21-year-old qualifier on the comeback trail from a serious pelvic injury, committed 61 unforced errors but still completed a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory for her first win against a top 10 player.
“Had a lot of long rallies and a lot of even games, and it just didn’t go my way,” said Wozniacki.
“Obviously it's tough to lose 7-6 in the third. It was a tough match. Could have gone both ways. She just went for it and it went in for her. Hopefully I can get some more matches in Sydney and be more prepared for Melbourne.”
Wozniacki said knee troubles had hampered her during the year.
“You know, I’m still 10 in the world,” she said. “Just the most important thing is that you’re healthy. I had some struggles with my health. Obviously that makes a difference. But as long as I’m healthy and I can fight and be competitive, that is the most important thing.
“You play the sport you love to do, and obviously it’s more fun when you’re winning. Right now in these situations it’s not so much fun. There is always the next week, I guess that’s the good part about tennis.”
Wozniacki, sporting a ring on her wedding finger, downplayed speculation she was engaged to the golfer Rory McIlroy, who was among the spectators on Monday.
“It was a Christmas present and it fit on this finger,” she said. “I put it on, and all of a sudden I hear that I'm engaged. I’m not. It’s already twice we’ve had to shut down engagement rumours.
“Don’t worry, we will let you know if that time happens. We’re just taking one day at a time.”