Novak Djokovic was wary of revealing the full extent of his neck and shoulder injuries ahead of a French Open semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas. (More Tennis News)
World number one Djokovic reached the last four at Roland Garros on Wednesday after recovering from a set down to beat Pablo Carreno-Busta 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.
Djokovic was clearly hampered by fitness concerns, however, wearing tape on his neck, repeatedly stretching out his left arm and then receiving treatment in Paris midweek.
"I definitely didn't feel great coming into the court today. A few things happened in the warm-up," Djokovic explained afterwards.
"I had to deal with those physical issues coming onto the court. As the match went on, I felt better and didn't feel as much pain."
The Australian Open champion was pressed for further detail but, with his title tilt continuing, additional information remained scarce.
"I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I'll just say that," he said. "I don't want to get really too much into it.
"Obviously I'm still in the tournament, so I don't want to reveal too much.
"I'm feeling okay. I think as the match progressed, I warmed up by body and the pain kind of faded away. It allowed me to play better and better and feel better."
Victory was particularly sweet as it came against Carreno-Busta, Djokovic's opponent when he was defaulted from the US Open last month for striking a line judge with the ball.
It was put to the 33-year-old Serbian that match – his only defeat in 2020 – might have contributed to the slow start against Carreno-Busta, but he insisted the injuries were the sole cause.
"No, no, it wasn't that at all. It was something else," Djokovic said. "I actually just mentioned what was the issue. I had to deal with that.
"I told you guys many times I'm over it. I'm not thinking about it at all. I mean, zero per cent."
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine