Tennis commentator Mark Petchey expressed his concern that Novak Djokovic is carrying an abdominal injury after the Serb’s Wimbledon victory over Holger Rune.

The former world No 80 also backed Alex de Minaur to upset Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarter-finals as he proclaimed that it is the Australian’s “time.”

Djokovic entered Wimbledon with question marks over his fitness after he tore his meniscus at the 2024 French Open last month and underwent surgery on his right knee.

The 37-year-old tennis great has found impressive form at the grass-court Grand Slam and cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win against Rune in the fourth round on Monday.

The seven-time Wimbledon winner did, though, show signs of in discomfort in the match as he felt his abdominal area on several occasions.

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In his post-match press conference, Djokovic said: “I feel good, it was a great match from my side. I feel good about my tennis.

“There are always things to improve and work on, but things are going in the right direction. I like the way I’m playing, especially today against a tough opponent. I’m looking forward to the next match.”

Petchey, who is a former coach of British legend Andy Murray, feels Djokovic may be dealing with a separate physical issue to his recently-operated knee.

“I’m not sure if Novak’s not carrying a little bit of an injury,” he told Stan Sport’s Grand Slam Daily.

“Apart from the knee which is the obvious one, a little bit of [concern] on the ab. He looked a little concerned halfway through that second set, talking up to his physio, holding his (abs).

“It was strange but honestly, having worked with someone like Andy Murray and seeing their mentality – at times they need something a little bit different.

“We’ve seen Andy at times walk around like he’s been hit by a sniper, come off, and then you say, ‘what was wrong with that?’, and he would say, ‘there’s nothing wrong.’

“It’s almost as though they need something to drive them. I don’t know whether that was something Novak needed.”

The Brit also gave his thoughts on Djokovic’s fiery interaction with the Centre Court crowd after he beat Rune.

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“I was sitting in the crowd and it was very obvious that it was ‘Rune’ that they were saying rather than booing. He obviously got into his head that they (the crowd) were disrespecting him,” Petchey assessed.

“That is the sort of fire he has shown over the years against better players like Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] that he needed to perform at his best. It was a little spicy in the [arena] but we love a bit of that.

“I don’t think he was that disrespectful to the crowd, but it will be interesting when he takes on Alex [de Minaur] because we are going to get a very quick temperature gaze of what the crowd and the public think at Wimbledon when he steps out onto the court.”

On Djokovic’s quarter-final matchup with world No 9 de Minaur, Petchey added: “I think it’s Alex’s time, just as it was at the United Cup at the start of the year. I do like his chances.”

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