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Australian Open: Injured Novak Djokovic Qualifies For Third Round




Novak Djokovic endured an injury to qualify for the third round of the Australian Open in a period when a couple of predicted title contenders suffered defeats.

The 35-year-old Serbian extended his winning streak in the Australian Open by defeating French qualifier Enzo Couacaud 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-0.

During the game in Melbourne, Djokovic finished a medical timeout effectively despite looking to be hindered by an existing hamstring issue.

Before he clinched the victory, the former world No. 1 went over to the umpire to express his anger at a heckler in the audience and demanded that a drunk spectator who was jeering him be ejected.

“That guy, he is drunk out of his mind. He’s not here to watch tennis, he’s provoking,” Djokovic said. “So I’m asking you, what are you going to do about it?”

The day after Rafael Nadal lost, Casper Ruud, the second seed, too dropped out.

After reaching two Grand Slam finals the previous year, the Norwegian was upset by American Jenson Brooksby, who won 6-3 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

In the same half of the draw, Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin defeated eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz.

Despite still being in the early phases of his rehabilitation from a significant ankle injury, Alexander Zverev, the 12th seed, succumbed to lucky loser Michael Mmoh, 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-3 6-2.

Mmoh stated that he had booked his flight ticket before the game since he already expected to lose.

In contrast, Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland was upset by fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 to move to the third round. He will face Dan Evans of Britain.