Paris | Djokovic pulls out of Roland Garros

Following a bad fall during his quarter final with Francisco Cerundolo, when he sustained a knee injury, Novak Djokovic has pulled out of Roland Garros where he was defending his French Open title.

I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros,. I played with my heart and gave my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately…my team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation. Novak Djokovic

He received medical treatment at the time, and with pain killers, managed to stave off his Argentine opponent to advance after five sets.

The severity of the injury was not evident as he ranted and raged against the organisers who had denied his request for more regularly brushing of the court which, thanks to the week’s weather, was more slippery than usual.

However, he recovered from 4-1 down in the fourth set and showed no signs of pain as he turned the match around and complete it after four-and-a-half hours of play.

On announcing his withdrawal, he revealed that the knee had been problematic in the lead up to Paris and that fall had inflamed the injury further.

“For the last couple weeks I have had, I would say, slight discomfort, I would call it that way, in the right knee, but I haven’t had an injury that would be concerning me at all,” Djokovic said. “I was playing a few tournaments with it, and no issues until today.


Novak Djokovic gets some treatment

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“I started feeling the pain and asked for the physio treatment and the medical timeout and tried to take care of it. It did disrupt me, definitely, in play. For two sets, two sets and a half, I didn’t want to stay in the rally too long. Every time he would make sudden dropshots or change directions, I would not be feeling comfortable to do the running.

“At one point I didn’t know, to be honest, whether I should continue or not with what’s happening. I got the medications, and then after the third set was done, I asked for more medications, and I got them.”

Djokovic underwent more tests Tuesday, and it was determined he would be unable to continue thereby handing Casper Ruud, the Norwegian who has been a finalist at Roland Garros these past two years, a walkover into the semis-finals. It also means that Jannik Sinner, will replace the Serbian at the top of the rankings when the new listings are published next week to become the first Italian to fill that spot.

“I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros,” Djokovic said on Instagram. “I played with my heart and gave my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately…my team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation.”

How long Djokovic will be out for depends on the size of the tear and whether surgery is required. Roger Federer had a meniscus tear in 2016, missed over two months after having surgery and then was out for a further six as the knee still wasn’t right. On the other hand, Taylor Fritz suffered a similar injury in Paris 2020, had surgery and still played Wimbledon!

Consequently, there is now doubt as to whether the seven-time champion will be appearing at Wimbledon or even at the Olympics a few months later which are being held at Roland Garros.

It is also the first time Djokovic has ever given a walkover to an opponent at a grand slam and it means that he will have to put his hopes of increasing his record of 24 Grand Slam titles on hold for the present.





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