‘Sad’ Novak withdraws from French Open


Novak Djokovic will not continue to defend his French Open title.

The 37-year-old player announced on social media on Tuesday that he must withdraw from the Grand Slam tournament on the clay courts of Roland-Garros.

The defending champion hurt his knee early in his fourth-round showdown against Francisco Cerundolo.

It was his second showdown in a row that was decided over five sets, after he was also tested to the limit against Lorenzo Musetti.

“It is sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland-Garros. I gave my all in my latest match and my team had to make the difficult decision after I suffered a torn medial meniscus in my right knee,” said Djokovic.

The Serbian would have faced Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals and he has now also in all probability lost his place at the top of the ATP rankings.

Djokovic should have qualified for the final in Paris to maintain his status as the world’s number one player. Jannik Sinner will soon wield the ranking scepter.

“I want to wish the players playing this week good luck and at the same time thank the incredible spectators for their support,” he concluded.

The winner of 24 Grand Slam titles said after the showdown against Cerundolo that he had been struggling with his knee for a while.

“For the past few weeks I have experienced a bit of discomfort, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. It wasn’t a problem, until today of course.”

Djokovic has not yet been able to win a tournament this year.