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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale
Michael Fitzpatrick

No time to party as Djokovic injury casts shadow over Australian Open triumph

Novak Djokovic and his mammy, Dijana, celebrate his Australian Open victory. AP - Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Novak Djokovic says he hopes to return to action in a month's time but is "not sure" how quickly his injured hamstring will heal. Roger Federer has been among those hailing Djokovic's "incredible effort" in winning a 10th Australian Open and a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title on Sunday.

"Incredible effort, again! Many congratulations," the retired Federer, who won 20 majors, wrote in a brief message on Instagram.

Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets earlier Sunday to add another Australian Open trophy to his seven at Wimbledon, three at the US Open and two from the French Open.

His collection of 22 Grand Slam titles takes him level with Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic at 35 is one year younger than Nadal who was the defending champion in Melbourne.

Nadal was knocked out in the second round and is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury.

Former world number one Federer retired last year at the age of 41 after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Medical checks before Dubai

Australian Open champion Djokovic revealed that he had not had time to properly celebrate winning a record-extending 10th Melbourne title on Sunday.

His 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas saw Djokovic equal Rafael Nadal's men's record of 22 Grand Slam tournament wins and return to world number one in the rankings.

Djokovic was troubled throughout the competition by his left hamstring, although it improved as the Grand Slam went on.

While the 35-year-old paraded the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup around the gardens of Government House in Melbourne on Monday for a photoshoot, he was asked by a journalist from the AFP news agency how his leg was and when he might play again.

"I'm not sure, I'm going to do some medical check-ups in the next few days," he replied. "Then I'll be able to talk about it a bit more and understand the situation."

Djokovic pulled his hamstring before the Australian Open, having won a warm-up event in Adelaide, and was badly hampered at times at Melbourne Park, particularly in the early rounds.

At one point he did not practise between matches.

"As it stands today I am still signed in for the Dubai tournament, which is in a month's time. I hope I'll be able to come back to the courts in several weeks' time," he said Monday.

"Let's see, you know, I'll speak to the medical team and then take it from there," he added.

No time for a proper party

Djokovic said there had not been time for any partying on Sunday night to mark his latest achievement.

Asked how he had celebrated the victory, he smiled: "With the media, and with doping control!

"I didn't have the chance to really celebrate as much as I would like to. I guess that's going to come in Europe."

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