Djokovic through to last 16 after injury scare

Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:52pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Rolling around in pain clutching his left shoulder, Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon hopes flashed before his eyes on Center Court on Friday before he climbed off the turf to beat Gilles Simon and reach the last 16.

Leading by two sets and 3-2 in the third set, the Serb top seed was closing in on an uneventful victory against his French opponent when he stumbled and dived to reach a wide forehand, crashing heavily to the ground near the baseline.

With the 2011 champion in agony and with concerned coach Boris Becker watching on, it looked as though Djokovic might be out for the count but after receiving some treatment he carried on and closed out a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win.

Despite looking a little tentative, he showed no obvious signs of discomfort and finished the job with a hefty smash.

The shaken 27-year-old, who had slipped several times during a match featuring some long baseline exchanges, looked relieved at the finish and even more so later when the All England Club medical doctor gave him the all-clear.

"Luckily for me it was only an impact that had a minor effect on the joint and the muscles around, but no significant damage that can cause a bigger problem," Djokovic, who will face dangerous Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, told reporters.

"I just came from the doctor's office, had ultrasound. It's all looking good."

While arguably the best mover in men's tennis, Djokovic said he may have to practise his diving with three-times champion Becker, who virtually trademarked the art during his golden years at the All England Club.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic from Serbia falls during his men's singles match against Gilles Simon from France at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 27, 2014.           REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth