Ahead of a scheduled press conference in Belgrade, Novak Djokovic went on Facebook Live, with some beautiful clay courts in the background, and made a personal announcement to his fans.
He will be out for the rest of the season, and plans to come back even stronger in 2018.
It is exactly a year, to the day, that Roger Federer made a similar announcement in the wake of Wimbledon. That break seemed to work out pretty well.
Here’s what Djokovic said:
“Hello from Belgrade, I have a little announcement to make today.
Just wanted to share the news with you, After obviously a year and a half of carrying the injury of the elbow that has culminated the last couple of months, I have made the decision to not play any competition, any tournaments until the rest of the 2017 season. Unfortunately this is the decision that had to be made at this moment. Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated.
Only time can heal
I have consulted many of the doctors and specialists and various people from both ends of the medicine in the last 12 to 15 months, and especially in the last couple of months when I felt the injury was getting worse.
They all agreed that I need rest, that I need time. This is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly. You just have to allow nature, natural rehabilitation to take its course.
Professionally this is not an easy decision for me. But I’m trying to look from the positive side everything. I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I’ll try to use this time as best as I can.
Obviously spend quality time with my family. In about a month, month and a half’s time hopefully Jelena and I, with Gods’ help, will become parents again. And obviously I will take this time to heal, do all the different suggested methods of healing processes so I can get back on the court ASAP.
A couple of months off the court
It will take a couple of months at least without the racquet. And then I’m hoping I can start after that, to train. I’m looking forward, to be honest, I can build my body, my game, my team as well.
I’m happy to share that Andre Agassi is committed to staying with me next year. I’m looking forward to getting back on the practice courts with him and of course having him in the box for any big tournaments.
I just want to say, lastly, that I’m very grateful. And that’s probably the strongest emotion I’m feeling lately even though, as I said, professionally, it’s not an easy decision, not an easy decision to swallow.
Obviously I have never faced this particular situation before in my life. I haven’t skipped any big tournaments. I’ve played all the Grand Slams and probably 90 per cent of the Masters 1000 events. I was blessed to have a lot of success. I’m very grateful for that. I’m also very grateful that I’ve kept my body very healthy throughout the years. I haven’t had too many injuries, especially no big injuries like this one that would keep me away from the tour for longer than a month, month and a half.
Plans to come back better
It’s completely a new experience or me, new circumstances. But I’m trying to look at it from a brighter side. I have time where I can dedicate to healing, to building up my body, and strength and obviously focusing on some aspects and elements of my game that I really never had time to work on.
Now I have time to perfect it and to build a foundation for the next five years or more – God knows. I really want to play professional tennis for many years to come.”
UPDATE: Click here to see the press release after Djokovic’s Belgrade press conference. He said that Agassi was with him in Toronto as he consulted specialists. And that he would return in 2018 by playing a warmup tournament before the Australian Open.
How about Hopman Cup? It worked for Federer. 🙂