Was Novak Djokovic's medical stoppage some French Open gamesmanship? His opponent thinks so
Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the French Open on Wednesday thanks to a 4: 6, 6: 2, 6: 3, 6: 4 win over Pablo Carreno Busta. His opponent wasn't entirely happy with how he got there.
After the game, Carreno Busta, number 18 in the world, suggested to the New York Post that Djokovic, who received medical treatment after dropping the first set, was less about his health than about the skill of the game:
"He didn't surprise me [by asking for medical time out]. It's a good thing. It's a sign that he's losing and that I played well because he always does," Carreno told Busta Reporters: “Every time the game gets complicated, he asks for medical help.
"It's something he's been doing for years. When he's down he asks about the coach. I don't know, maybe it's the pressure or something he needs to do it. But I mean, he keeps playing normally, no? I don't know if he's really in pain or if the problem is mental. Ask him. "
Djokovic announced immediately after the game that he was going to start on Wednesday because of some neck and shoulder problems, but didn't go too far in their severity:
"I definitely didn't feel well today when I came on the pitch. A couple of things happened in the warm-up," said Djokovic. “I had a few neck and shoulder problems. I don't really want to go into that too much.
"I'm fine, I'm still in the tournament so I don't want to give too much away." As the game progressed, I felt better and didn't feel as much pain. "
Djokovic also reportedly admitted that Carreno Busta was the better player for "a set and a half".
The number 1 in the world will meet Stefanos Tsitsipas (number 5) in the semi-finals on Friday. We'll see if he needs treatment during this game as well.
Funnily enough, this is nowhere near the most controversial incident in a Grand Slam game between Djokovic and Carreno Busta this year. This "honor" belongs to a specific game that ended when the Serbian player hit a linesman with a ball at the US Open.
Novak Djokovic received medical treatment after losing a set at the French Open on Wednesday. (Photo by Tim Clayton / Corbis via Getty Images)
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