Novak Djokovic has his detractors, for sure. He cannot even seem to take a medical timeout or run to the bathroom without some talking head questioning his integrity. Clearly, at the United Cup, Djokovic played with an injured wrist and still won a match before falling in the quarterfinals to Alex de Minaur. Does de Minaur beat Djokovic if the Serb isn't dealing with wrist pain? Who knows?
But John Alexander - yes, that John Alexander who you don't know - appears to think that Novak Djokovic is partly faking it. Djokovic often goes to the bathroom between sets of a match he is losing to regroup, but the 24-time Grand Slam winner probably has earned the right to leave the court for a bit longer than most other players. But medical timeouts?
More specifically, Djokovic had a real injury at the United Cup. Tennis players don't exactly like to have wrist injuries as that affects their livelihood. Maybe Djokovic has won the most prize money ever and wants to keep winning lots of prize money, but Alexander thinks Djokovic at 36 years old is simply trying to get an upper hand on his opponent by taking a longer-than-normal timeout.
Novak Djokovic gets challenged about his medical timeouts
Alexander told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week, "The injury timeouts - if there is a question mark over his greatness in his entire career, it's the way he has, in many people's minds, strategically used medical timeouts."
Of course, Alexander himself dealt with a back injury for a lot of his career, and that hindered his potential. Possibly he is just jealous that while Djokovic is arguably the greatest player ever, Alexander only reached a high ranking of No. 8 because of his back. More likely, Novak Djokovic has a bunch of skills that Alexander never could dream of having.
Now the real question is how long Djokovic's relatively new wrist injury will keep him out. His coach, Goran Ivanisevic, doesn't think Djokovic's injury is a big concern. Still, any weakness at all at the highest levels of tennis can be detrimental.