John McEnroe believes that Pablo Carreno Busta was ‘outclassed’ by Novak Djokovic at the French Open and did not think his injury would be necessary.
With heavy strapping on his neck, Djokovic began the Roland Garros quarter-final class. Moreover, he called for the physio twice in the first half of the game.
In a 4-set thriller against 18th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta at the center court, Novak Djokovic prevailed to set up a semi-final clash against Greek fifth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
However, the class began to display until the world number one secured a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory, and the injury started to disappear with the flow. Also, McEnroe thinks it was an important match to get through for him.
“Obviously he was thinking a little bit about the US Open to me because his opponent was the same guy when he got defaulted, that was a little bit in his head,” McEnroe said on Eurosport.
He added, “The other part of it is the pressure. He’s trying to catch Rafa and Roger, so he’s obviously put a lot of pressure on himself. To me, the outcome was never in doubt unless he literally stopped playing.”
“These Conditions Are Absolutely Perfect For Him To Play Rafa”: John McEnroe
It was the 36th victory of the year for Djokovic, with his only defeat coming against the same opponent in round 4 at the US Open when the Serbian failed to inadvertently hit a line judge in the throat with a ball and was disqualified from the match.
The 61-Years-old American also explained, “We’ve seen these shenanigans a bit before from Novak. There was a time for a year and a half or two years where he sort of went off the rails and had issues mentally and physically.”
He continued, “But now when I see it, I think he can overcome it like he did today. These conditions are rough, and they’re playing the best of five sets. You’re going to have aches and pains. There are no two ways about it. There’s no way you can say that isn’t going to happen.”
On Wednesday, he wore a bandage on his neck and had issues with his left arm that seemed to ease after a trainer massaged him during changeovers.
Djokovic looked flat and had to save break points early in the second set before improving his game to level the match.
In conclusion, McEnroe stated, “More importantly to me is not that he had a stiff neck but that he got through it, he’s going for a Slam, and if he goes and plays Rafa in the final, which is what most people think will happen, these conditions are absolutely perfect for him to play Rafa.”