Game, set, match: Djokovic's French Open hopes dashed by unexpected injury

Tuesday, 04 June 2024 at 16:55
Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2024 French Open after a right knee injury which got worse during his victory over Francisco Cerundolo on Monday night in which he nearly had to withdraw from the tie.
He managed to surge through to the Quarter-Final in a 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win and was set to face Casper Ruud in a repeat of last year's final. The Norwegian beat him in the Monte-Carlo Masters earlier this season in getting revenge and he won't now face him.
Djokovic was undergoing an MRI in Paris after which he was set to confirm whether he could continue. He cancelled his practice for the day in a sign that he was set to withdraw but he was awaiting results which have seemingly come in the meantime confirming that his injury is bad enough in order for him to withdraw.
Casper Ruud moves through to the semi-finals where he will likely face Alexander Zverev who takes on Alex de Minaur. That is the otherside of the draw which will take place on Wednesday and is now a match short with Djokovic not playing. It is a crushing blow for the World No.1 who will most certainly lose his status at the top of the rankings.
As well as toiling against Lorenzo Musetti and Francisco Cerundolo in five sets seemingly for nothing with Djokovic now not able to win his 25th Grand Slam title for now. With Wimbledon also coming up, the seriousness of his injury has to be ascertained as he goes forward to see if he can even play during the grass court major. With him withdrawing from this, there will be concerns enough to question that going forward. But after a pretty poor start to 2024 by his own standards, this confounds it as he bows out without playing his Quarter-Final.
So far this season, he lost to Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Before going on a poor run of form. He lost out to Luca Nardi in Indian Wells, Casper Ruud in Monte-Carlo as well as Alejandro Tabilo in Rome. Deciding to play a warm-up for the 2024 French Open, he aimed to seek out form by playing the Geneva Open. But he was well beaten by Tomas Machac.
Most of his matches in Paris weren't plain sailing either. He saw off Pierre Hugues Herbert and Roberto Carballes Baena without a great deal of difficulty. But he then nearly lost to Musetti and Cerundolo. “I have had a minor knee problem for a few weeks , but it is not a big deal. Then I slipped in the second set and I felt pain. I took a lot of painkillers and they started to take effect at the end of the fourth. I don't know if I will play in the quarterfinals, we will wait and see," he admitted after the latter. Now he won't play after an MRI seemed to confirm his fears that he can't continue. The 37-year-old will now have to ponder what's next.

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