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Djokovic to Miss Remainder of Season to Recover from Elbow Injury

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Tommy Robredo of Spain during their ATP tennis match on the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships February 22, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has confirmed he will miss the remainder of the 2017 season as he seeks to recover from an right elbow injury, which forced him to withdraw from Wimbledon.

The world number four tennis player reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, but pulled out in the second set of his match against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam champion, has admitted a prolonged break from the sport is inevitable after consultation with doctors.

“All the doctors I’ve consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest,” he said.

“A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable, I’ll do whatever it takes to recover.

“I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule.

“Five months may seem long from this point, but I’m sure they will pass quickly because there is so much I want to do.”

The break will see Djokovic miss the US Open, the final Grand Slam event of the 2017 season, and the Davis Cup semi-finals.

It will end a remarkable record of 51 consecutive Grand Slam competitions the Serbian star has featured in, with the run stretching back to the 2005 Australian Open.

“My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when playing forehand as well,” the 30-year-old said.

“Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years.

“I think I haven’t missed a single major event for more than 10 years, I’ve been reaching the final stages of the tournaments and playing at the highest level.

“The remarkable series has come to an end.”

The persistent injury has coincided with the Serbian’s loss of form, which saw him drop from number one in the world rankings.

His spell as world number one included a spell where he held all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, becoming the first men’s player to achieve the feat since Rod Laver.

Djokovic also confirmed Andre Agassi would remain as his head coach upon his return to the game, which is expected to be at an Australian Open warm-up event next year.

By Michael Pavitt

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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