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Djokovic: My ankle is fine, there's no pain
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Former two-time champion Novak Djokovic, who has been struggling with a nagging ankle injury that he suffered from while representing Serbia in the Davis Cup last month has said that he “feels better” and that there is “no pain” anymore.
“I feel better. The ankle is not bothering me any more, which is great news,” Djokovic said at the Italian Open on Sunday.
“I’m already slowly starting to release the protection from the ankle because I feel more and more stable on it. There’s no pain, which is great.”
The World No.1 had lost to ‘Baby Federer’ Grigor Dimitrov in his opening match at the Mutua Madrid Open last week. But coming into the event here in Rome, Djokovic appears confident.
“I love Italy. I also speak Italian, so I feel like a local,” Djokovic said.
Against Dimitrov, Djokovic slipped on the baseline during the middle of the match and winced in pain.
Against the Bulgarian, Djokovic had twisted that ankle in between a rally and appeared to be in some pain. The Serbian then called for the trainer as he got the ankle examined.
The lengthy break that he took however saw the crowd turn against him, and the World No.1 said that he was surprised.
“I won Madrid in 2011 and had nice support. I have a lot of friends in Spain. My brothers live in Spain.
“So I never had a problem with Spain or Spanish people. In contrary, I always enjoyed my visits there,” he said.
“This time, it happened what happened, and I forgot about it already.
“I respect the choices of a crowd and who they support and I understand it’s not going to always be me,” Djokovic added.
“That’s normal. But what happened there is something unusual for me. I didn’t experience that before, to be treated that way for no reason, in my opinion. I move on and here I already feel more comfortable.”
The reigning Aussie Open champion started his clay court season with a bang as he outplayed Rafael Nadal in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters winning his first title there.
“Monte Carlo was the best possible clay-court season start. Madrid was different but still, as a professional you have to accept the losses and defeats. They are as important as the victories, actually. You learn something new from them,” Djokovic said.
“It’s not the first time I’m facing this type of situation in my career. Hopefully this tournament can be the lucky one for me, then I’ll focus my attention to Paris.”
Djokovic won the title here in Rome back in 2008 and then again in 2011.
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