Did Novak Djokovic take a dig at Rafael Nadal? The Serbian star was responding to speculations about the gravity of his hamstring injury. The nine-time Australian Open champion is playing with strapping around his right hamstring after sustaining the injury earlier in the month.

The former world number one, who is the favourite to win the 2023 Australian Open, showed no signs of any discomfort as he demolished Alex de Minaur. Djokovic dropped just five games enroute to a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 win in just over two hours to book his place in the quarterfinals.

The 21-time men's singles Grand Slam champion admitted after the game that there was no sign of his injury, but refused to acknowledge claims that it was fake. While defending himself, Djokovic seemed make a jibe towards Nadal, who does receive plenty of sympathy from tennis fans when he suffers an injury.

The Spaniard has had his fair share of injuries during his career with the latest being the hip injury that saw him bow out in the second round in Melbourne. The outpouring of support for Nadal is something Djokovic is not familiar with despite his success.

"I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt," Djokovic told Serbian reporters on Monday. "Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting... I don't feel that I need to prove anything to anyone."

"I have got the MRI, ultrasound and everything else, both from two years ago and now. Whether I will publish that in my documentary or on the social media, depends on how I feel. Maybe I will do I it, maybe I won't."

Djokovic has been skipping practice sessions in order to avoid aggravating the injury. Even after his win over De Minaur on Monday, the Serb was contemplating skipping practice on Tuesday to ensure he remains fresh for his next clash.

The 35-year-old's opponent in the quarterfinals is Andrey Rublev. The Russian beat Holger Rune in an epic five set thriller, which included coming back from 5-2 down in the fifth before triumphing 11-9 in the final set match tie-break.

Novak Djokovic
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as he competes against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov at the 2023 Australian Open AFP / Martin KEEP