5/8/13 3:56 PM | Johan Lindahl
Novak Djokovic confessed that he almost skipped the Madrid Masters due to pain from his injured right ankle. As it was, the world No. 1 now faces a race for fitness with the Rome event starting on Monday.
Djokovic lost a three-hour marathon second-round opening match to cramping Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(6), 6-7 (8) in front of a jeering Spanish crowd which did not forget that he had beaten their hero Rafael Nadal in the event two years ago.
Djokovic hurt his ankle in Davis Cup over the US a month ago, then managed to rehab it enough to play Monte Carlo in mid-April, where he won the title to deny Nadal a record ninth straight title at the Masters 1000.
But Djokovic revealed after his Madrid loss: "For 12 days after Monte Carlo I didn't touch the racquet. I didn't know up to Saturday if I'm going to come here or not because of the ankle. But in the end, I made the decision to come because I like to play in this tournament. Maybe it could have been different; maybe not. Now it's too late to think about what I decided.
"I thought it was the right decision because, luckily for me, nothing really happened when I twisted the ankle during the (Dimitrov) match. It was a slight moment. I had good protection on my ankle.
"The only positive thing that I look into, is that I didn't injure my ankle worse before Rome and Paris."
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
|2. Murray||8 750 pts|
|3. Federer||8 670 pts|
|4. Ferrer||6 970 pts|
|5. Nadal||6 385 pts|
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