But with Couacaud leading 5–4 in the second set, Djokovic took an off-court medical timeout for the existing heavy ligament to re-tape his hamstring. As he walked back through the tunnel to return to the track, the Serb was filmed bringing a pair of scissors to the top of the tight band, and he hopped and flinched after missing a forehand during the next run.
Then when he lost the second set, things could have gone downhill, but somehow he rallied. He battled a fading Couacaud, the rowdy crowd and his ailing body to win the next two sets in almost routine fashion.
But Djokovic still seemed dejected during the on court victory interview and left pretty quickly after signing some merchandise for fans. He spoke to Eurosport immediately after making no attempt to downplay his injury woes, saying he “hoped” to recover in time to take on 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the third round on Saturday.
“Honestly, it’s not going well at all,” he said of his hamstring. “But look, I take it day by day. It was better last game, the feeling, than tonight. That’s all I can say, now it’s up to God to help me and the physio. Let’s take it day by day I hope I can recover for the next game.”