Novak Djokovic has said that he will miss the remainder of the tennis season due to an elbow injury.
Djokovic, currently the world No 4, has said that his coach Andre Agassi supports his decision and will stay alongside him over the coming year.
Djokovic will be missing the upcoming US Open, the first Grand Slam he has missed since he made his debut at the 2005 Australian Open.
He retired from his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Thomas Berdych and subsequently revealed that he has been struggling with a long-term elbow problem.
Injuries happen all the time in a professional sport and I always invested time and energy in strengthening my body as part of prevention. That kind of mindset and rigorous routines allowed me to achieve incredible records and not to miss any majors for more than a decade. After consulting many doctors and hearing lots of different opinions, I have decided to end my season now and allow my body to heal properly and get ready for new challenges. I feel very grateful at this moment knowing how beneficial this will be for my body, mind and soul. Thank you #Nolefam for patiently waiting for my decision and sending me your love! I'll be back 😉
He released a statement on his official website that said, “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.”
The statement went on to say that he has been regularly reaching the final stages of tournaments and maintained playing at the highest level but that now he must take a break, “My body has its limits, and I have to respect that and be grateful for all that I have achieved so far.”
The statement ends by saying that he “firmly” believes that he will “come back stronger”.
His announcement came exactly one year after Roger Federer made a similar announcement regarding the 2016 season.
Djokovic also reiterated that Agassi will remain as his head coach. “We’ve been speaking regularly,” Djokovic said. “Andre was with me in Toronto and he helped me find doctors, specialists in treating elbow injuries. During this short period of time, we’ve been getting to know each other and building trust and understanding.”