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Tennis News• Carreno Busta on Djokovic’s Injury Issues: “He’s always doing this when he has problems on court”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic gets medical assistance during a break as he plays Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain during their French Open quarterfinal.

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic had tape all over his neck and appeared to struggle with a left-arm issue in the first two sets of his French Open quarterfinal match against Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday.

The world No. 1 said afterward that he picked up an injury during pre-match practice and was almost forced to withdraw.

“I had an incident in warmup today,” Djokovic explained following his four-set win. “My physio Miljan (Amanovic) and the ATP doctor Poli have been working on my neck for two hours trying to make me fit enough to play. I have to admit, it was touch and go for a while; I was not sure whether I would be able to play. In the end we managed to sort it out.

“I do not want to go into too much detail as I am still in the tournament. Is there time for me to recover? Yes, there is.”

Carreno Busta is no longer in the tournament, and he had some parting words about Djokovic’s condition.

Pablo Carreno Busta questioned Novak Djokovic’s medical timeouts during tight matches.

“Probably the last (few) years he’s always doing this when he has problems on court,” the Spaniard said. “I don’t know, maybe it’s the pressure or something that he needs to do. But he continues playing normal, no? I don’t know if he has pain really or if [it is] mental.”

He continued in Spanish, which translated as, “Every time the game gets complicated, he asks for medical assistance. He’s been doing this for a long time. I already knew that. I knew it would happen at the US Open, that it would happen here, and that it would continue.”

Carreno Busta added that he did not care and was unaffected, since he expected it to happen. In fact, he said he was glad Djokovic was showing that kind of vulnerability because it meant Carreno Busta was giving him trouble.

The top-seeded Serbian will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Friday’s semifinals.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.