By Ros Satar
- Novak Djokovic to skip rest of 2017 season with elbow injury
- Made announcement after consulting multiple doctors and specialists
- Meanwhile Andy Murray is focussing on rehabilitation for his hip and is still on players’ list for back-to-back Masters 1000 events in Montreal & Cincinnati
SERBIA & UK – Novak Djokovic has called time on his 2017 season to heal the elbow injury that caused him to retire in Wimbledon, while Andy Murray is posting his rehab images on Instagram as the US hard court swing beckons.
Djokovic out for rest of 2017
After lots of speculation since retiring in his Wimbledon quarter-final, Novak Djokovic confirmed that he had spent a lot of time consulting with doctors and specialists, before taking to Facebook Live and Twitter to make his announcement.
I took time to make a decision about my recovery. Sorry for keeping you in the dark these days. Read more here https://t.co/tCSw46TOL2
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) July 26, 2017
The elbow injury, which he has had for around a year and a half, affecting his serve and progressing to his forehand will now keep him out of action until 2018, causing to miss among other events the last Slam of the season in New York. Last year Djokovic reached the US Open finals, beaten by Stan Wawrinka.
In a statement on NovakDJokovic.com, he explained:
“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. 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.”
He and his wife are expecting their second child, and in his Facebook Live video that Andre Agassi is still committed to helping him when he returns next season.
He continued: “My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when playing forehand as well. 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. My body has its limits, and I have to respect that and be grateful for all that I have achieved so far. At the beginning of my career I was facing health issues, but during years, and with a lot of patience and dedication, I found a solution. That’s the approach I take to this situation, and I firmly believe that I will come back stronger.”
Will Djokovic have same resurgence as Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal?
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Murray continues rehab in race to be fit for US Open
Meanwhile after also having consulted specialists after his efforts at Wimbledon finally caught up with him. As Sam Querrey took him to five sets, Andy Murray started to struggle physically, although given his abbreviated preparation on the grass, to reach the quarter-finals was still a feat in itself.
While Djokovic’s fans had to wait for an official confirmation on Wednesday, Murray as been posting his rehabilitation progress on his Instagram account, with a fair degree of deadpan humour.
Murray is scheduled to play in the Rogers Cup Masters 1000 event in Montreal, before heading to Cincinnati where he reached the final last year. The back to back Masters 1000s are often seen as vital preparation ahead of the US Open for the elite players.
In the past, Murray has called time early on his season. After winning his first Wimbledon title, he underwent back surgery, skipping the tail end of the season after the US Open and David Cup World Group play-off, returning for the Australian Open.
However, it was a hard battle for him to get back on terms and he although he went hell for leather to gain enough points by winning titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia to qualify for the season ending World Tour Finals, he was spent, bowing out in the round robin stages including a battering at the hands of Roger Federer, with just one game on the board.
Would Murray be better off taking a break?
While he is still holding on to his World No. 1 spot, he has conceded that he has not played well enough to keep it, with Nadal just 285 points behind him at the moment and both scheduled to play in Montreal.
As with Djokovic, while there is no guarantee that either would return to dominate the Slams in quite the same way as Federer and Nadal, would Murray also benefit from taking time out? The China Open has tweeted that he will be back to defend his title in Beiing, so what, if any, benefit would Murray have in skipping a segment of the tour in the second half of the year?
Vote in our poll.
The Rogers Cup takes place in Montreal between 7-13 August
Featured Image Credit: Ella Ling/BPI/Shutterstock/REX/Shutterstock
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