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French Open 2024: Knee-injury forces defending champion Novak Djokovic out of tournament

Novak Djokovic has a tear in his right knee meniscus, which could leave him out of Wimbledon as well

French Open 2024: Knee-injury forces defending champion Novak Djokovic out of tournament
Defending champion Novak Djokovic withdraws ahead of his QF match owing to a knee injury

Last Updated: 09.53 PM, Jun 04, 2024

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Defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a fourth tournament in Roland Garros and a 25th Grand Slam title came to an end on Tuesday, as he withdrew following a knee-injury. Novak tore a medial meniscus in his right knee during his marathon 5-set Round 4 match against Francisco Cerundolo, which was discovered today, forcing him to opt out of the quarter-final match against Casper Rudd. The 37-year-old’s departure from the tournament means that Jannik Sinner will now be the World No.1.

Djokovic had slipped on the court during his Round 4 match, which he said was because the court had become more slippery owing to the rain. Djokovic managed to advance to the quarter-final on the back of a lot of painkillers, but recovery from a torn meniscus takes 2-3 months at least, meaning that he could also be looking at missing out on Wimbledon, a tournament he’s won 7 times. The grass court Grand Slam is slated to begin on July 1.

Djokovic had earlier been quoted as saying that playing the 2024 Paris Olympics was a priority - a swan song for his illustrious sporting career, but that too looks doubtful at the moment. The Olympics begin on July 27.

Meanwhile, the first quarter-final of the 2024 French Open, Jannik Sinner sent Grigor Dimitrov scuttling in straight sets. He will meet the winner of the Carlos Alcarax vs Stefanos Tsitsipas match in the semi-final on June 6. Djokovic’s quarter-final opponent Casper Rudd will play against the winner of the Alexander Zverev vs Alex de Minaur match. Djokovic not being in contention for the French Open will give the tournament a new winner. None of the remaining players in the tournament have ever won in Roland Garros earlier.

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