Daniil Medvedev reacts to Novak Djokovic injury as Australian Open chief backs him to play

Medvedev came through in five sets (Picture: Getty Images)

Daniil Medvedev won the first five-sets match of his career after taking the scenic route to beat Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic as he extended his current win streak to 17 matches.

Medvedev, the fourth seed from Russia, looked in total control at two sets to love up but was pegged back and forced into a decider.

He rediscovered his mojo to take the fifth set 6-0 but had to do so without the presence of his coach.

When 4-1 down in the fourth set, Medvedev repeatedly yelled at his box. Coach Gilles Cervara eventually picked up his bag and left the court. He didn’t return for the rest of the match.

‘I don’t know what was going through his head,’ said Medvedev after the 6-3 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 win.

‘But at least what he said is that he was sure I’m going to win, and he just wanted to leave me alone to be calm, because as myself, as human, that’s why we can have, let’s call it, some frustrating moments, both of us, because we both want to win.

‘Him as a coach, me as a player, he wants me to win so he felt like that was the best thing to do.

Medvedev yelled at his box (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Sometimes maybe I will not be – I will disagree, but this time, yeah, for sure it was a good thing to do.

‘I’m sure it happens, I don’t know, once per year, two times per year maximum, maybe once in two years, but today it helped, and definitely we’re going to talk about it a little bit, but there is not a big deal; let’s call it like this.’

Medvedev will go on to face USA’s Mackenzie McDonald in the fourth round but his chances of going on to win the tournament appear to have greatly improved by an injury to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday.

Djokovic, an eight-time Australian Open champion, admitted he wasn’t sure if he will be able to face Milos Raonic after edging past Taylor Fritz but he is on the schedule to play the second night match on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

Medvedev revealed he went to bed in the fourth set of Djokovic’s match in order to get the best preparation for his third-round tie and admitted he was surprised to wake up and see that the Serb had won.

‘I definitely, yeah, just saw that he was in pain,’ said Medvedev. ‘I actually went to sleep and it was the middle of the fourth set because I had an early match and it was like 11:30pm already, and I thought he was going to lose it because you could feel that he was in big pain, not moving, not hitting the ball.

Djokovic suffered an ab injury (Picture: Getty)

‘So I was surprised when I saw him winning. That’s why he has 18 Grand Slams. That’s why he’s amazing.

‘After, I don’t know what he has, so let’s see what he has, but as I say, thinking about myself, and again, only if I meet him it’s going to be in the final. Never good to see a player injured.’

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek fifth seed, also came through – enjoying a straights sets win over Sweden’s Mikael Ymer – and gave his thoughts on Djokovic’s situation.

‘I heard some things from different people,’ said Tstsipas. ‘I didn’t watch the match. I think it was too late. It was bedtime for me. It went until really late, a five-setter.

‘I don’t know, I hear he played really well in the fifth. I don’t have much more information. I heard he was kind of injured. I’m not even sure.

‘It happens to everyone. I don’t know if he is actually injured. I struggled with an injury at my French Open semifinal against him actually, which didn’t end really well. I fought really hard, and after five sets, it hurts a lot knowing that the injury that was quite okay at the time got worse.

Tsitsipas came through in straight sets (Picture: Getty)

‘We have to wait and see. I don’t know. Right now I’m entirely focusing on myself and on my performance and what’s happening around me. I don’t pay too much attention on external things like this.’

Tournament director Craig Tiley, meanwhile, is confident Djokovic will make it to the start line against big-serving Canadian Raonic.

‘We’ll see him,’ Tennis Australia chief Tiley said. ‘He’s resilient, he’s tough.

‘He’ll wake up today and he’ll figure out what it is and he’ll go and get the appropriate treatment.

‘The way he was, those two sets, I was pretty surprised [he was able to win the match.]

‘But I’ve seen him play enough times here, this is his court, he gets comfortable on it and he just picks his game up and up and he’s that good.

‘So his health is going to be important and we’ll make a decision later on today on when he plays tomorrow.’

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