Djokovic announces 6-month absence from ATP tour due to elbow injury

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-27 00:01:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BELGRADE, July 26 (Xinhua) -- World-famous tennis player Novak Djokovic announced on Wednesday at a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia that he will skip all tournaments until next January in order to rehabilitate his injured elbow.

Djokovic explained that he has been suffering for a year and a half from an elbow injury, but that "it has escalated in the past one or two months, and especially at Wimbledon" when he forfeited match against Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinal of the tournament due to pain that could not be alleviated by medications.

"This injury started in autumn 2015. Since then I played all tournaments under medications. I hoped that as time went by, the injury would disappear on its own because my ligaments and muscles had not been torn," Djokovic revealed, adding that he will have to restrain from training or even holding racquet.

The 30-year-old tennis player, winner of 12 Grand Slam titles, one of eight players to achieve the Career Grand Slam, is the fifth ranked in the history of tennis with 223 weeks holding the title of world's number one (July 2011-July 2012, November 2012-October 2013, July 2014-November 2016).

"I will need to rest without my tennis racquet and spend two months without playing. All doctors, specialists, orthopedists agree that rest is necessary and that the nature of this injury is such that it requires for me to stop playing and engage in passive-active rehabilitation. I will completely focus on healing of this injury and strengthening my body and I look at all this from a positive aspect, although it was not easy to bring a decision to be absent from the ATP tour for six months," he said.

Djokovic announced his comeback for the first week of the ATP tour in 2018, pointing out that the recovery period will also give him time to gather a team for the upcoming season that will include coaches Andre Agassi, former No.1, and probably former player Mario Ancic.

According to Djokovic, absence from the court will also be useful for him to work on his strategy and improve certain segments of his game.

Djokovic said that he will enjoy his time off with his family, revealing that his wife Jelena is pregnant, and is going to deliver their second child in the following two months.

"I will have time for my family and this is most important for me. The nature of my job is that I am absent from home frequently, and it will do good for me to stay in one place for more than one month, to be with my son and my pregnant wife," Djokovic said.

He stressed that all his sponsors, including French Lacoste will stay with him, despite the fact that he will not play a single tournament for six months.

"If they (doctors) tell me that I have to leave my racquet aside for two or three months - this is a serious injury and I took it seriously," Djokovic stressed but rejected that this is a sign that the end of his career is approaching.

"I cannot imagine the end of my career can be anywhere near, so get ready to watch many more matches," he said confidently.