Knee pain keeps Djokovic from competing in the French Open

Due to a knee injury sustained in the previous round, Novak Djokovic withdrew from the French Open prior to his quarterfinal match against Casper Ruud, the tournament’s organizers have confirmed.

“Organizers announced in a statement that Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from the Roland Garros competition due to a ruptured medial meniscus in his right knee (found during an MRI scan performed today).

Top-ranked and 24-time Grand Slam victor Djokovic was scheduled to face Ruud today in an attempt to advance to the semifinals. Ruud lost to Djokovic in the Roland Garros final the previous year.

As a consequence Ruud will go on to face fourth seed Alexander Zverev or 11th seed Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals on Friday.

After defeating Francisco Cerundolo in five sets on Monday, the 37-year-old Djokovic expressed doubts about his fitness and acknowledged that he need anti-inflammatory medication to get through the match.

Djokovic defeated Cerundolo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. He attributed his early second set injury on the “slippery” Philippe Chatrier court.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go out on the court and play tomorrow or the day after that. Well, I really hope so. After the game, Djokovic remarked, “Let’s see what happens.”

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve experienced what I would describe as mild discomfort in my right knee, but I haven’t experienced any injuries that would worry me.”

“Up until today, there were no problems while I was using it in a few tournaments.”

Jannik Sinner will become the first men’s world number one from Italy next week as a result of Djokovic’s withdrawal from the French Open. The Serbian star entered the competition knowing that Sinner would overtake him if Djokovic lost in the final in Paris. Djokovic has held the top spot in the rankings for a record 428 weeks. His injury has made this season his worst start since 2018, when he didn’t win an event until winning Wimbledon.

Adding to his troubles, he had stomach issues in Geneva last month after being unintentionally struck on the head with a metal water bottle in Rome.

The last time Djokovic withdrew from a Grand Slam match was at the 2019 US Open, when he was forced to retire against Stan Wawrinka in the round of 16.

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