How Novak Djokovic celebrated victory at the Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic has addressed his “severe” hamstring injury and unconventional celebration of his 10th Australian Open title.

Djokovic said he celebrated his record-breaking 22nd singles Grand Slam win with “media and doping control” and predicted more celebrations ahead of his planned return to the court at the end of February.

“It was a long night but of course a huge relief after the match,” he said, explaining that he will definitely return in 2024 to defend his title.

“Ending a tournament and the whole journey here to Australia with a Grand Slam win is always incredibly satisfying. I owe all of my success to my team members, my family… (after) going through some challenging times over the past three or four weeks.

“I haven’t had the chance to really party like I’d like, I think that will come in Europe when I come back.”

Djokovic, 35, said his “severe” hamstring injury hampering his leadership and tournament was just one element faced by a number of other off-court dramas, including that with his father Srdjan pictured alongside pro-Russian protesters be the days before the final.

He plans to meet with doctors in the coming days and hopes to be able to play in Dubai again at the end of next month.

“I’m going to do some medical checks…then I can talk about it a little bit more and understand the situation,” he said.

“As of today, I’m still signed up for the (ATP 500) Dubai tournament, which is a month from now. I hope to be able to appear in court again in a few weeks.”

None of Djokovic’s family – including parents Srdjan and Dijana – joined him at his official photoshoot on Monday.

The Serb admitted he wasn’t sure how he would be received in Melbourne given his sensational deportation on the eve of last year’s tournament.

But on Monday there was little doubt as the star swarmed with fans just outside Victoria’s Government House.

Adults, children and even a Serbian minister were among the mob who gathered to catch a glimpse of the 22-time Grand Slam winner, who got out of his car to sign autographs and take selfies with the crowd of fans close.

The ability to put aside extra-judicial drama and injuries is due to the fact that he has “no choice”.

“If I wanted to win the trophy, I had to stay strong and not let external factors and disruptions distract me on my way to the title,” said Djokovic.

“Obviously I was curious and a little more nervous than usual after last year’s events returned to Australia.

“(I asked myself) ‘How will people welcome me? What kind of reception would I get on the pitch, off the pitch?’.

“Overall it was a very positive experience. I am very grateful for that.

“I had to deal with (the injury) just before the tournament started. And then some other events that I didn’t have to deal with, especially in the later stages of the Grand Slam, but I had to accept it… let it go away and then (could) we focus on what matters most.

Originally published as How Novak Djokovic celebrated winning the Australian Open 2023 How Novak Djokovic celebrated victory at the Australian Open 2023

Ryan Sederquist

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