Sore Novak insists he’s fit and firing for Nishikori
World No.1 Novak Djokovic brushed off injury concerns ahead of his quarter-final showdown against Kei Nishikori on Wednesday following a heavy fall in his win over Daniil Medvedev.
third set on Rod Laver Arena late on Monday night.
Djokovic hit the deck in the third set on Monday night and afterwards revealed he had not felt at his best in the last 20 minutes of the four-set win.
"It was not particularly the fall. It was just a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of back, nothing major. But there are a couple of things that have surfaced after a match like this."
The battle with Medvedev had been "physically exhausting" the six times Australian Open champion said and he expects a similar contest against Nishikori, who took five hours to overcome Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta also on Monday night.
"Kei won another marathon match. He's a fighter, he's a very talented player, one of the quickest players on the tour" Djokovic said.
"I have lots of respect for him. We did play here several times. Every year is different, every match that you play against each other is different so I expect him obviously to come out, to try something new."
Nishkori, the eighth seed, will not be overjoyed to face Djokovic, the Serb holding a 15-2 career lead, the Japanese player's last win coming at the US Open in 2014.
Indeed Djokovic dismissed Nishikori at the last eight stage here three years ago for the loss of just eight games.
In the unlikely event the match should proceed to the new, final set super tie-break (first to 10 points) neither player will be unhappy, Nishikori already ending two of his four matches here to-date by the shortened route.
Djokovic welcomed the innovation.
"I don't mind it personally. I'm more in favour of closing out the match in a tiebreak or super-tiebreak rather than going for 11 hours like Isner and Mahut (11 hours at Wimbledon in 2010)."