An elbow injury has compelled Novak Djokovic to call time on the rest of the 2017 tennis season. The injury is describes as chronic and it caused his retirement in his Wimbledon quarterfinal match against Tomas Berdych.
The decision means that he will miss the 2017 U.S. Open at Forest Hills, New York in late August – early September.
Djokovic has won the U.S. Open twice, in 2011 and 2015. He beat Rafael Nadal for the first one and Roger Federer for the second. The hard court surface is well suited to Djokovic’s style of play, as his ownership of six Australian Open championships could attest. He seemed to be returning to his old form after falling off a bit of late and the U.S. Open would have been his final and best shot at a Grand Slam tournament in 2017.
With Djokovic out of the U.S. Open, Federer’s chances would seem to have improved dramatically and even more so if some turn of events similar to what happened at Wimbledon this year, when Nadal and Murray were eliminated, were to be replicated.
Given the viciousness Djokovic uses on nearly every shot he hits, it is small wonder that his elbow is sore. Even though we ourselves are right-handed, if we were to try to take one of Djokovic’s furious swings, we would hurt our left elbow in the bargain.
Djokovic made his announcement via a live stream post on Facebook, where he said that the issue first started to be problematic since early in 2016, which coincides with his unexpected fall from the top during a period where he appeared virtually unstoppable.
According to his doctor, Zdenko Milinkovic, the injury is the result of overuse, so for the short term, rest is the best treatment. The doctor said that Djokovic must rest his elbow for anywhere from six to 12 weeks, while the best long-term solution is sought.