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Djokovic out for rest of season


Djokovic out for rest of season

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BELGRADE – Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of the tennis season, including next month’s U.S. Open, to recover from a right elbow injury, the Serbian said on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old posted a video statement on Facebook in which he said he had decided to let heal the injury which caused him to retire during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Czech Tomas Berdych earlier this month.

“I’ve made a decision to not play any competitions or tournaments for the rest of the 2017 season,” Djokovic, 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 [Tomas] Berdych.”

He said surgery would not be necessary, however.

 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.

In May he split with his entire coaching team, having parted with Boris Becker at the end of last year.

Djokovic now faces the prospect of being outside the top 10 when he returns at the start of next year – although he said he was already relishing the prospect of battling back to the top. (Reuters)