Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of the tennis season, including next month’s US Open, as he recovers from a right elbow injury.
The 30-year-old posted a video statement on Facebook in which he said he had decided to deal with the injury that caused him to retire during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Czech Tomas Berdych earlier this month.
The Serb, down at number four in the world rankings for the first time since 2009, said “it’s a decision that had to be made”.
Djokovic then told a news conference he had decided to take six months off after consulting doctors and specialists in Serbia and abroad.
“I have been dragging this injury for the past 18 months and it has escalated in the last month or two,” Djokovic, who will miss a grand slam for the first time since 2004 at Flushing Meadows, said.
“It became very painful at Wimbledon, where unfortunately I had to retire against Berdych.”
But he said surgery would not be necessary.
Rough 2017 season ends abruptly
Djokovic has endured a difficult 12 months on the court, losing all the grand slam titles he held simultaneously after winning the 2016 French Open. He also lost his world number one ranking to Andy Murray at the end of last year and has reached just two finals since January for one win and one loss.
In May he split with his entire coaching team, having parted with Boris Becker at the end of last year, and holds a 32-8 win-loss record this season with just two titles — in Doha and Eastbourne — to his name.
Djokovic now faces the prospect of being outside the top 10 for the first time since 2007 when he returns at the start of next year — although he said he was already relishing the prospect of battling back to the top.
This year will also mark the first time since 2010 that Djokovic will not win at least one of the four majors on offer.
“I will definitely play in the first week of next season,” he said.
“I have enough time to recover as the first tournament of 2018 is six months away.
“Having accomplished so much in my career I will find it difficult not to aspire to win tournaments.
“Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to playing the top seeds in the third or fourth round of major tournaments because for once the pressure will be off.”
Watch Djokovic’s announcement below:
Posted by Novak Djokovic on 2017年7月26日
– with agencies