Novak Djokovic Withdraws from French Open Due to Knee Injury

Novak Djokovic withdraws from French Open

PARIS — Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from his French Open quarterfinal against Casper Ruud due to a right knee injury sustained during his fourth-round win on Monday.

The withdrawal ends Djokovic’s title defense and results in the loss of his No. 1 ranking.

Following an MRI scan and further medical tests on Tuesday, Roland Garros confirmed that Djokovic suffered a “torn medial meniscus” in his right knee.

Djokovic revealed he was injured during the second set of his five-set victory over Francisco Cerundolo. Despite the injury, he hoped to compete in Wednesday’s quarterfinal.

In a statement, Djokovic expressed his regret, saying, “I played with my heart and gave it my all on Monday before getting injured. I wish the best of luck to the players competing this week and sincerely thank the incredible fans for all their love and continued support.”

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The 24-time Grand Slam champion mentioned experiencing slight discomfort in his knee before the tournament but had no issues until his intense fourth-round match on Monday. His previous match had ended at 3:07 a.m. on Sunday, which he said affected his sleep and recovery.

Djokovic explained that a slip in the third game of the second set against Cerundolo “affected the knee.” He requested a medical timeout and received further physio treatment during the match.

Djokovic expressed frustration with the slippery surface on Court Philippe-Chatrier and requested more frequent sweeping, but the request was denied.

“I started feeling the pain and asked for physio treatment and a medical timeout. It definitely disrupted my play,” Djokovic said Monday evening. “For two sets and a half, I didn’t want to stay in rallies too long. Whenever he made sudden drop shots or changed directions, I felt uncomfortable running.”

Djokovic considered retiring from the match but continued after receiving medication. He rallied from being down two sets to one and a break in the fourth set to win the match but was concerned about potential long-term knee damage.

Now, Djokovic, 37, turns his focus to Wimbledon, starting July 1, followed by the Olympic Games on July 27. Djokovic’s withdrawal advances Ruud to the semifinals, where he will face the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between Alexander Zverev and Alex de Minaur.

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