Novak Djokovic has revealed he suffered no long-term damage from the ankle injury he sustained while playing in the Davis Cup duty for Serbia.
The world No.1 looked as if he was in pain after turning his ankle in the third game of his match against the United States’ Sam Querrey and was given considerable courtside treatment.
Despite looking uncomfortable putting too much weight on his right foot, Djokovic managed to play on and record a 7-5, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 victory over his big-serving opponent.
There was speculation over how much further damage he had done to the injury by continuing, leading to fears he may be forced to miss the French Open, which gets under way next month.
But the 25-year-old confirmed on his official website that he would need only a short period of treatment and rest before hinting he could even return to action in next week’s Monte Carlo Masters.
“The world’s top player has undergone an MRI examination this morning which revealed no structural damage to the joint capsule and ligaments. A joint structures strain requires therapy and strict rest in the following days,” the statement read.
“Depending on the recovery, a decision will be made on his participation at the forthcoming tournament in Monte Carlo.”
The six-time Grand Slam winner admitted his pride at representing Serbia — with whom he won the Davis Cup in 2010 — stopped him from pulling out of his match on Sunday, with his victory sealing his country’s semi-final place.
“Obviously it’s very strong emotion when you play for your country; I guess that’s the biggest reason why I kept playing,” said Djokovic on the tournament’s website after beating Querrey.
“Injuries are a part of sport, and you try to avoid as much as you can as an athlete.”
“If I had not been playing for Serbia with my team beside me, I am not sure I would have carried on,” he said.
“It couldn’t have happened at a worse moment, right at the start of the match. I felt pain with every motion in the first 30 minutes so I just had to go for precision with my shots.
“These are rare occasion when you get to play for your country with 15 people on your team cheering you on so it’s always a big responsibility.”
After twisting his ankle during a long rally in the fourth game of his match with Sam Querrey, Djokovic winced and dropped to his knees and then rolled onto his back, shielding his eyes with the back of his hand. He eventually had to be helped to the side of the court for treatment.
Djokovic has retired from Cup matches before: most recently in the 2011 semi-finals against Del Potro and Argentina. But it should come as no shock to those who have observed his powers of recovery that he resumed competing on Sunday and eventually clinched a 3-1 victory for Serbia.