During a significant portion of the match, Novak Djokovic was clearly bothered by his injury, which required treatment. Dates for Melbourne Park: January 16-29: Coverage: Novak Djokovic battled through injury to reach the third round of the Australian Open on another day when more of his expected title rivals were knocked out. Commentary every day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra’s “Tennis Breakfast” live from Melbourne.

The 35-year-old Serb defeated French qualifier Enzo Couacaud 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-2, and 6-0 in Melbourne, aiming for a record-extending 10th victory.

Djokovic took a medical timeout due to what appeared to be a hamstring injury, but he returned.

The Norwegian, who made it to two Grand Slam finals last year, lost to American Jenson Brooksby 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7)

Eighth seed Taylor Fritz lost to Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 in the same quarter of the draw.

Michael Mmoh, a lucky loser who was a late call-up to the main draw after another player withdrew and stated that he had to change his flight because he had expected to be out, defeated twelfth seed Alexander Zverev, who was still in the early stages of his return from a serious ankle injury. The score was 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-3 6-2. Zverev was the 12th seed, and Mmoh was a lucky

Andrey Rublev, the fifth seed from Russia, defeated Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 to advance to the third round, where he will play Dan Evans of Great Britain.

Djokovic enters Rod Laver Arena with his left thigh heavily taped.

However, Couacaud, his opponent, struggles with injury early on, rolling his right ankle midway through the first set and requiring a medical timeout. Djokovic advances to the third round.

The 27-year-old Frenchman, making his debut at the Australian Open in 2023, took advantage of the crowd’s support for his every shot and forced the 21-time Grand Slam champion into a second-set tie-break, much to Djokovic’s frustration.

Djokovic lost a set to a qualifier or lucky loser in Melbourne for the first time since 2009, when Couacaud’s play defied his 191 ranking. Djokovic was down 3-0 in the tie-break, but Couacaud rallied to win the match.

But at that point, something changed in Djokovic’s mind, and his tenacity returned. The fourth seed won the third set in just over 30 minutes, but in the fourth set, he had to deal with hecklers in the crowd who he called “drunk out of their minds.”

Djokovic regained his composure after asking the referee “what he was going to do about it,” and he struck Couacaud out with a bagel he did not deserve.

In the third round, Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, also known as his “Balkan brother.” Dimitrov is a player that Djokovic has defeated nine times but has not faced since 2019.

“A lot happened tonight in the match tonight,” Djokovic said during his interview on the court.

“We both had medical timeouts and struggled a little, but I managed to respond well in the third and especially the fourth,” she said.

Casper Ruud’s quest for a Grand Slam victory and top ranking continues Casper Ruud reached two Grand Slam finals last year. His departure means that he must wait for another chance to win his first Grand Slam title and forfeits his chance to become the world’s number one.

The world number 39 Brooksby outplayed the 24-year-old Norwegian, who took the first set by breaking serve twice and dominating play from the baseline in the second.

In the third set, Ruud saved three match points and won a tie-break to force a second set, despite later stating that he had felt “tension and some slight pain” in his abdomen.

But Brooksby, a 22-year-old, came back to break early in the fourth and won the match when his opponent hit a backhand long.

“After the third set battle didn’t go my way, I was really proud of my mental resolve out there to turn it around.”

Brooksby will play Tommy Paul in the next round after his friend defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the 30th seed in Spain, in five sets.

Nick Kyrgios, the Wimbledon runner-up from last year, was already out of the men’s draw because of an injury. Djokovic is now the clear favorite if his hamstring stays healthy.

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