October 8, 2020 | 4:20pm
He’s not buying it.
After falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinals, Pablo Carreno Busta shared his frosty feelings on the Serbian’s actions in the match.
Djokovic entered the match with neck and shoulder injuries, and was treated on his upper left arm after dropping the first set. Carreno Busta suggested the move could have been a bit of gamesmanship.
“He didn’t surprise me [by asking for a medical time-out]. It’s a good thing. It’s a sign that he is losing and that I was playing well, because he always does that,” Carreno Busta told reporters. “Every time the match gets complicated, he asks for medical assistance.
“It’s something that he has been doing for years. When he is down, he asks for the trainer. I don’t know, maybe it’s the pressure or something that he needs to do it. But, I mean, he continues playing normal, no? I don’t know if he’s [in] pain really or [the issue is] mental. Ask him.”
Djokovic was coy on the severity of his injury.
“I definitely didn’t feel great coming onto the court today, a few things happened in the warm-up,” said Djokovic. I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I don’t really want to get too much into it.
“I’m feeling OK, I’m still in the tournament so I don’t want to reveal too much. As the match went on, I felt better, didn’t feel as much pain.”
Djokovic was facing Carreno Busta at the US Open when he hit a lineswoman in the neck with a frustrated smack of the ball. That remains his only loss of the season after Wednesday’s comeback.
Djokovic admitted that Carreno Busta was the better player for a “set and a half”, and called the match “so close” despite cruising in the final three sets.
Djokovic will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals, looking to become just the third men’s player in history to win each grand slam twice.