French Open: Defending champion Djokovic withdraws due to injury

French Open: Defending champion Djokovic withdraws due to injury

World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ongoing French Open with a knee injury on Tuesday.

The defending champion, who is already into the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, where he is slated to face seventh seed Casper Ruud, played through injury in the fourth round on Monday.

Djokovic, who recovered from an apparent knee injury to beat Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after five sets, pointed to the slippery courts in Roland Garros as the reason for the aggravation of his knee problems during the tournament.

The 37-year-old Serbian had a scan on the injury earlier today before announcing his withdrawal from the Grand Slam, which he has won three times.

The scan revealed the 24-time Grand Slam winner has a torn medial meniscus in his right knee, forcing him to pull out and hand Ruud a clear route to the semifinals.

“I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw,” Djokovic said.

“My team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation.”

The injury ends Djokovic’s hopes of winning a record-extending 25th Grand Slam title, which would have been an outright all-time record.

Additionally, due to his withdrawal, Djokovic will relinquish his ranking as the world number one and be replaced by Italy’s Jannik Sinner at the end of the French Open after the second seed overcame Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 in straight sets on Tuesday.

Djokovic will now have to race against time to be fit for Wimbledon, which will begin on July 1, while the Paris 2024 Olympics, which he has shown interest in participating in, will begin at Roland Garros on July 27.

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