Novak Djokovic officially withdrew from the French Open because of a knee injury that caused him severe discomfort as he fought his way to victory against Francisco Cerúndolo in the fourth round. 

The defending champion faced Cerúndolo in five sets, with the goal of winning his 25th grand slam singles championship.  However, during the match, he felt unexpected discomfort in his right knee. 

Dropping out of the tournament, Djokovic wrote in an Instagram post: “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.”

Two days before his hard-won triumph over Cerúndolo, Djokovic had engaged in a third-round five-set match against Lorenzo Musetti that concluded at three in the morning. 

Djokovic: I slipped way too many times

Even though Djokovic defeated Cerúndolo with amazing resolve and determination, he afterwards acknowledged that he was worried about right knee pain that only went away when his medication started working as the match came to a close. 

The athlete admitted: “At one point, I didn’t know, to be honest, whether I should continue or not with what’s happening.” 

He claimed that the courts were more slippery than usual due to the continuous rain in Paris and the officials turned down his request to have the clay wiped more frequently during the match.

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“I slipped way too many times… That is quite unusual … I’ve slipped and fallen on the clay many times in my life, and on grass as well, but this was just too many times today… Could this injury have been prevented?… Possibly, if there was just a little bit more frequent care of the court during the set. That’s basically all I asked for,” Djokovic added.

With Djokovic withdrawing from the competition, the Norwegian Casper Ruud he was due to meet in the quarter-finals will now move to the semi-finals. Moreover, the reigning Australian Open champion, Jannik Sinner, will be at the top of the world rankings for the first time in his playing career. 


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Source: CNN

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