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Top-ranked Novak Djokovic withdraws from French Open with torn meniscus

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns ball during 4th round against Borna Gojo of Croatia at the US Open Championships at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York on September 3 2023

Serbian Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open quarterfinals after an MRI on Tuesday revealed he has a torn meniscus in his right knee. The world No. 1 was set to face No. 7 seed Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals on Wednesday; Djokovic’s withdrawal will make 22-year-old Jannik Sinner the first-ever Italian man to become world No. 1 when the new rankings come out on Monday.

The French Open released in a statement: “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 quarterfinals tomorrow, has been forced to withdraw from the Roland-Garros tournament”

The 37-year-old star was gunning for his 25th Grand Slam title, though he still holds the record for most majors on the men’s side. Djokovic posted on social media: “I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros. I played with my heart and gave my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately, due to a medial meniscus tear in my right knee, my team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation. I wish the best of luck to the players competing this week and sincerely thank the incredible fans for all of the love and continued support. See you soon. With love and gratitude, Nole”

Djokovic was injured during a fourth-round victory against No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo on Monday that lasted five sets spread across more than 4 1/2 hours. Ruud will now face either No. 4 Alexander Zverev or No. 11 Alex de Minaur in the quarterfinals. The group of remaining contenders includes Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January, who will face No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or No. 9 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the semifinals. Sinner said after hearing news of Djokovic’s withdrawal: “seeing Novak (injured) is, for everyone, disappointing, so I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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