Novak Djokovic withdraws from French Open due to knee injury: what does this mean for his Wimbledon hopes? | Tennis news

World number 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of his quarter-final match due to a knee injury.

Top seed and defending champion Djokovic was scheduled to play Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Norwegian seventh seed Ruud therefore advances directly to the semi-finals.

Djokovic’s withdrawal ends his quest for a record-extending 25th Grand Slam trophy and will see him lose the world No. 1 ranking to Italian Jannik Sinner later this month.

In a statement on Instagram, Djokovic said: “I am truly sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros.

“I played with my heart and gave it my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately after careful consideration and discussion, my team and I had to make a difficult decision due to a medial meniscus tear in my right knee.

“I wish the players competing this week the best of luck and sincerely thank the incredible fans for all the love and continued support.”

It is unclear how long the injury will keep Djokovic out of action and whether the Serbian will be fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.

Djokovic had been battling a knee injury for weeks and needed anti-inflammatory tablets during Monday’s second set in his five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo.

The 37-year-old slipped on the pitch and began grimacing and rubbing his right knee before receiving medical attention several times. He told the physical therapist, “I ruined my knee. I slip and slide all the time.”

Four games later, after asking for the field to be swept, he complained to a tournament supervisor about the condition of the surface, saying, “I’m telling you as a player it’s not OK.”

After the match, Djokovic said: “In the last few weeks I have had a little discomfort, I would call it, in the right knee, but I have not had any injury at all that would bother me. I played a few matches.” tournaments with it, and had no problems until today.

“Of course the late finish a few nights ago didn’t help sleep, biorhythm and recovery. But I actually felt great coming into the match – as well as I could under the conditions – and played really well. the third game of the second set I slipped, one of several times today that I slipped and fell, damaging my knee.”

There have been mixed reports about whether Djokovic has undergone surgery on his knee, with French newspaper L’Equipe reporting that Djokovic underwent surgery in Paris on Wednesday, while the president of the Serbian Olympic Committee tweeted that he was meeting with Djokovic’s uncle had spoken to, who says that he actually did not undergo that. surgery.

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Sky Sports Tennis’ Jonathan Overend has the latest on Novak Djokovic’s injury and his chances of playing at Wimbledon.

About the conflicting messages, Sky Sports TennisJonathan Overend said: ‘We’re waiting for confirmation from the man himself, but whether he’s had surgery or not, it’s clear he’ll be out for a few weeks.

“It must put his participation in Wimbledon in serious doubt.

“I think there is a chance that even if he doesn’t have an operation, he won’t play at Wimbledon. You have to remember that this is the most difficult time of the year for tennis players.

“They’re going from clay to grass and it’s a short turnaround. Djokovic has won the tournament seven times, but his priority this year is the Olympic Games.”

Henman: Djokovic withdrawal ‘hugely disappointing’

Djokovic revealed after his last 16 win that he was unsure if he could continue in the tournament Air sports analyst Tim Henman was surprised he couldn’t return for his quarterfinal match.

“We saw a few times in Australia that he suffered from a pulled stomach muscle, but he kept playing and went on to win the tournament,” Henman said. Eurosport. “He had a problem with his hamstring there and he kept playing. So to me this felt like a precaution.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during the second round of the Roland Garros 2024 match between Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain on May 30, 2024 at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France.  (Photo by Glenn Gervot/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Djokovic was favorite to win a record-extending 25th Grand Slam title

“I really expected him to bounce back, as we’ve seen so many times before. It was a huge shock for me. When you hear that there might be a meniscus tear, that’s a serious injury, so that’s hugely disappointing for Djokovic.”

On the challenges of tournament scheduling, Henman added: “If some of these matches end at two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning, it’s not good for the players and it’s not good for everyone. The planning is absolutely crucial. .

“If you consider that he (Djokovic) played two matches and played tennis for more than nine hours, and if you add to that very late at night, until the next morning, I think this puts enormous physical pressure on the players and mentally.”

Will Djokovic be fit for Wimbledon?

Wimbledon takes place between July 1 and 14, where Djokovic lost to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets in the final last year.

Boris Becker, Eurosport expert and former coach of Djokovic fears for his chances at Wimbledon, where he is a seven-time champion.

Novak Djokovic of Sebia rubs his knee on his way to defeating Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in their fourth round match during day nine of the 2024 French Open at Roland Garros on June 3, 2024 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic will lose his status as world number 1 after withdrawing from the French Open

Becker said: “It’s a serious injury and it’s not going to go away tomorrow. That leaves me a bit speechless. You need your knees on grass, you really slip all the time. A torn medial meniscus is a serious injury and the question is of course The question arises whether surgery is necessary.”

Looking ahead to the rest of Djokovic’s summer, Sky Sports’ Annabel Croft said: “Only time will tell, and of course he really wanted to try and play in the Olympics. That’s something he really wants is that gold medal, so I think a big part of his year kind of focused on focusing on that in a very, very big goal for him.

I think he will undergo further examination, tests and many treatments to see what he can do. He has done some extraordinary things with his body when he has had injury problems in the past. He has used oxygen therapy to try to sort of reduce swelling and reduce injuries.

Knowing the character he is and how professional he is, he will leave no stone unturned and will absolutely look to the best advice, the best treatments, the best physios, the best he can to get himself fit and ready to get. and back on the field.”

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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  • Stuttgart Open (ATP 250 with Andy Murray in action) – June 10-16
  • Rosmalen Open (ATP/WTA 250) – June 10-16

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