Novak Djokovic is to emulate Roger Federer and withdraw from the season to give an injury time to rest. He plans to come back for the Australian Open next year.
It is interesting that he makes the announcement on the same date that the Swiss made his twelve months ago!
My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when hitting my forehand as well. Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years Novak Djokovic
The difference is that Federer took time off for his knee and Djokovic for his elbow.
Should we be penciling in Djokovic as the next Australian Open champion?
The announcement had been expected and Djokovic made it on Wednesday in a video statement on Facebook. “I’ve made a decision to not play any competitions or tournaments for the rest of the 2017 season,” the 12-time grand slam champion said “It’s a decision that had to be made.
“My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when hitting my forehand as well. Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years.
“All the doctors I’ve consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest. A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable. I’ll do whatever it takes to recover. I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule. Five months may seem long from this point, but I’m sure they will pass quickly because there is so much I want to do.
“Another important moment is coming, we will become parents for a second time. My wife, Jelena, and I are expecting our second child, and we are preparing to welcome a new family member. These are things that fill me with greatest happiness and delight. I’m confident I will be ready for start of the new season.”
The Serbian had been struggling since he won the French Open last year to earn himself a career grand slam and retired from his quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon when it became evident he was suffering from an injury.
He will miss the US Open where he has been champion twice and made six of the last seven finals as well as Serbia’s Davis Cup semi-final against France.
His absence from New York will be the first time he has missed a Slam since 2004, ending a run of 51 successive majors.
Djokovic, 30, currently ranked 4 will eventually see his world ranking slip to around the 15 mark – his first trip outside the top 10 since March 2007.
The world number one, Andy Murray, is also carrying a serious hip injury which became evident when he lost to Sam Querrey in the quarters at Wimbledon and it has been suggested he also needs to take time off. The news filtering through is that he is recovering and it looks like he will make the US Open but fans await confirmation.