June 4, 2024

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open due to a knee injury.


The world number one aggravated the injury during his five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo on Monday. It means he will be unable to defend the crown he won last year as he aims to land his first Grand Slam of the season.


Djokovic confessed during Monday night’s win, where he again found himself trailing two sets to one, admitted he wasn’t sure whether he should continue when he felt pain. “At one point I didn’t know if I should continue,” said the Serbian. “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or if I’ll be able to step out on the court and play. I hope so. Let’s see what happens.”


It has now been confirmed that Djokovic has pulled out of the tournament. Roland Garros organisers said: “Due to a torn medial meniscus in his right knee (discovered during an MRI scan performed today), Novak Djokovic, who was supposed to play Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals tomorrow, has been forced to withdraw from the Roland-Garros tournament.”



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Norwegian seventh seed Casper Ruud, who has lost in the French Open final for the past two years, will therefore progress straight to the semi-finals.


Djokovic said in the aftermath of his win on Monday: “I had slight discomfort in the right knee for a couple of weeks but it was not an injury which was concerning – until today. The late finish did not help the sleeping, the biorhythm and recovery, but I actually felt good in the circumstances. Then I slipped, one of the many times I slipped, and that affected the knee. I started feeling the pain.”


Djokovic is a three-time winner in Paris but won’t be able to add to that haul and further extend his record as the most successful player in the history of the sport.


The Serbian arrived in Paris as the defending champion

With the Serbian absent it leaves Ruud waiting to see whether he’ll face fourth seed Alexander Zverev or Australian Alex de Minaur. In the other two quarter-finals Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Carlos Alcaraz whilst Jannik Sinner is aiming to see off Grigor Dimitrov.


Alcaraz has won two Grand Slams but is yet to claim the French Open, which is played on his favourite surface. The Spaniard has made light work of his opponents thus far and said on his performances: “I’m really happy with the performance today, I think I played a real high level of tennis. I’m happy with my serve, my shots and my movement on the court.”


He also added: “I didn’t come here with a lot of rhythm, but I believe in myself. After every practice and every match I’m getting better.”

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