‘Really sad’ Novak Djokovic issues statement after pulling out of French Open



Novak Djokovic made the 'tough decision' to withdraw
Novak Djokovic made the ‘tough decision’ to withdraw (Picture: Getty)

Novak Djokovic insists he is ‘really sad’ after making the ‘tough decision’ to withdraw from the French Open due to a knee injury.

The defending champion was scheduled to play Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals on Wednesday at Roland Garros.

However, Djokovic has been forced to pull out of tournament after scans revealed he had picked up a serious knee injury in slippery conditions during his fourth-round clash with Francisco Cerundolo on Monday.

‘I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros,’ he said in a statement posted on Instagram.

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

‘I wish the best of luck to the players competing this week and sincerely thank the incredible fans for all of the love and continued support. See you soon. With love and gratitude, Nole.’

The World No.1 came into the tournament short of form and carrying a slight injury which flared up during his match against Cerundolo.

Djokovic called a medical time out during the second set after grimacing in pain following a slip.

The 37-year-old took painkillers to get through the rest of the match, eventually grinding out a five-set win in four hours and 39 minutes – the longest French Open match of his career.

After the match, Djokovic complained at the state of the Court Philippe-Chatrier and suggested he may not be able to return for his quarter-final.

His withdrawal means that Ruud, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s final, will automatically progress to the semi-finals.

It also means that there will be a new French Open champion, while Jannik Sinner will become World No.1 for the first time next week.

Djokovic had been vying for a record-extending 25th Grand Slam title on the Paris clay.

While unclear how long he will be sidelined, the injury will raise doubts about his fitness for Wimbledon which starts on July 1.

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