Novak Djokovic has made the tough decision to retire from tennis for the rest of the year, due to an elbow injury. The tennis champion, who bowed out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals this year, took to Facebook to announce his news in a live video. He said that he has been suffering with his elbow injury for a year and a half, and the pain has escalated in the past few months.
"I have made a decision to not play any competitions, any tournaments, for the rest of the 2017 season," said Novak, 30. "Unfortunately, this is the decision that had to be made. Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated. I have consulted many of the doctors and specialists in the last 12 to 15 months and especially in the last couple of months where I've felt the injury is getting worse. They all agreed that I need rest, I need time, this is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly. You just have to allow natural rehabilitation to take its course."
Novak, whose wife Jelena is expecting their second child, said: "Professionally this is not an easy decision for me, but I'm trying to look on the positive side. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. I'll use this time as best as I can to spend quality time with my family. In about a month, a month and a half's time, hopefully Jelena and I will, with God's help, become parents again and obviously I will take this time to heal, to do different suggested methods of rehabilitation so I can get back on the court asap. It will take a couple of months at least without the racket."
Agassi will continue to coach Novak next year
The 12-time Grand Slam tennis star also confirmed that he will continue to be coached by Andre Agassi. "I'm happy to share that Andre Agassi is committed to staying with me next year, so I want to thank Andre for being with me this year and obviously sharing his experience, his wisdom. I'm looking forward to getting back on the practice courts with him and of course have him in the box for any big tournaments," he said.
Novak concluded by saying he plans to play professional tennis for many years to come. For now, the tennis ace will have to rest and rebuild his strength, and dedicate his time to his family. Novak and Jelena, who married in a wedding exclusively covered by HELLO! magazine in 2014, are already the proud parents to their son Stefan, two. Their second baby will be born in the autumn.
Novak is the proud dad to two-year-old Stefan
During Wimbledon, Novak faced reports that he was struggling with "off-court" problems. John McEnroe publicly compared the tennis player to Tiger Woods, saying that his poor form on court was due to "mental" not physical problems. Speaking on the BBC commentary team, John, 58, said: "The person that comes to mind immediately with Novak is not a tennis player, it's actually a golfer – Tiger Woods. He had the issues with his wife, he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to the same player. So we're starting to say, 'Wait a minute, is this possible with him?' This isn't a physical thing, this is a mental thing. There are definitely some issues."