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Djokovic set for scans after Open exit

A wounded Novak Djokovic is set to undergo further scans on his injured elbow after losing in straight sets to South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The six-time champion took a medical timeout after the first set and was in obvious discomfort as Chung stormed to a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Coming off a six-month layoff, the longest of his career, Djokovic’s health had been questioned throughout the tournament and his troublesome right elbow appeared far from healed.

Again wearing a full compression sleeve on his arm, Djokovic sent down four straight double-faults in falling to a 4-0 deficit in the opening set.

The 12-time major winner showed plenty of resilience but appeared unable to fully stretch his arm without pain.

Speaking after the match, the 14th-seeded Serb admitted he was unsure whether he would need more time away from the game.

“I really don’t know,” Djokovic said.

“I have to reassess everything with my team, medical team, coaches and everybody. Scan it, see what the situation is like.

“Last couple weeks, I played a lot of tennis. Let’s see what’s happening inside.”

Interviewed ahead of the tournament, Djokovic insisted he had not had surgery on his elbow but was tight-lipped on the exact nature of his injury and how he was managing his pain.

Reluctant to detract from Chung’s scintillating performance, the 30-year-old was philosophical when quizzed about his latest injury setback.

“It’s frustrating, of course, when you have that much time and you don’t heal properly,” he said.

“But it is what it is. There is some kind of a reason behind all of this. I’m just trying my best obviously because I love this sport.

“I’m very grateful I had the chance to play … (even though) it’s disappointing to go out in the fourth round.”

Djokovic wasn’t helped by the fact that he was playing a young man determined to emulate his own exhausting style of play.

The 21-year-old Chung, who defeated fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the third round, bore an uncanny resemblance to his childhood idol with his speed, athleticism and freakish retrieval skills.

“He definitely has the game to be a top-10 player, without a doubt,” Djokovic said.

“You can see that he cares about his career and his performances, so I’m sure that he’s going to get some really good results in the future.”

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