Wednesday, 07 October 2020 22:29

 

Photo Credit:Getty Images.

World number one Novak Djokovic overcame early physical struggles to beat Pablo Carreno Busta and reach the French Open semi-finals.

The Serb arrived on court with tape on his neck, repeatedly massaged his left biceps and grimaced on his way to losing the first set, but went on to win 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.

It was a rematch of September's US Open encounter where Djokovic was defaulted for hitting a line judge with a ball.

Djokovic faces Stefanos Tsitsipas next.

"It didn't feel great - neck and a few more things. I don't want to talk about that too much in detail," Djokovic, 33, told Eurosport.

"I don't want to sound like I'm complaining and obviously he was a better player for a set and a half.

"I definitely didn't feel great on the court for an hour, hour and a half. I was hitting myself, which I don't recommend."

It was just 31 days since the pair met in the US Open fourth round and the Serb was disqualified after taking an angry swipe at a ball and sending it accidentally into the throat of a line judge.

There were times in the first set when Djokovic looked ready to give up - at one point he signalled to his team with a gesture across his throat that suggested he was done with the match and he was clearly uncomfortable.

Djokovic, the champion here in 2016, is seeking to become the first man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slams twice.