There was some concern at the Rolex Paris Masters on Thursday night when Novak Djokovic was forced to call the doctor to the court after dropping the first set of his match against Tallon Griekspoor. The world No 1 led 4-1 before losing five games in a row and appeared to take something from the doctor before resuming play in the second set.
Djokovic found himself in a spot of bother while facing Griekspoor in the round of 16 in Paris-Bercy. A six-time former champion at the event, he got off to a red-hot start when he broke in the opening game. But the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight and managed to get back on serve.
After finding himself level at 4-4 after leading 4-1, the top seed threw in an uncharacteristic game full of mistakes, hitting multiple double faults to give the world No 23 triple break point. Despite saving all three, he couldn’t fend off a fourth one and Griekspoor had the chance to serve for the set.
He closed it out 6-4 in 47 minutes with Djokovic not playing like himself as Griekspoor outperformed him in every service statistic. As the world No 1 retreated to his bench, he called the doctor onto the court.
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The doctor appeared to give Djokovic something and there was no medical time out, with the 24-time Major winner resuming play as normal. He threw in another double fault and was forced to save a break point in the opening game but held on. And there were signs of the regular dominant Djokovic when he had a triple break point on Griekspoor’s serve.
The world No 23 saved all three, however, denying the top seed a chance to take an advantage. Djokovic had come into the match with a 2-0 winning record against Griekspoor, having never lost a set to the 27-year-old. He defeated the two-time title winner 6-2 6-3 earlier this year in Dubai.
There was even more trouble for Djokovic when he faced two break points at 4-4, which would give Griekspoor the chance to serve for the biggest win of his career. But once again, the top seed was able to dig deep and keep his nose in front in the second set.
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