Novak Djokovic has not ruled out the possibility of taking an extended break from tennis, with surgery on his injured right elbow imminent.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion, who has won three Wimbledon titles, retired from his quarterfinal match against Tomas Berdych at the All England Club on Wednesday. He said his elbow has been causing him issues for almost two years.
“It’s not a time and place for me to talk about the details. I’m just going to talk with specialists, as I have done in the last year or so, try to figure out what’s the best way to treat it and to solve it, to find a long-term solution.” Djokovic said after withdrawing while trailing 7-6 (2), 2-0.
At the end of his news conference, speaking in Serbian and translated through an interpreter, Djokovic mentioned the fact that he could end up taking a long break from the sport following his Wimbledon retirement.
That would be a first for Djokovic, who has been one of the best players on tour for about a decade. He won the first of his six Australian Open titles in 2008, and won four straight majors from the 2015 Wimbledon tournament through last year’s French Open. He has not added to that collection since.
“The specialists that I’ve talked with, they haven’t been really too clear, mentioning also surgery, mentioning different options. Nobody was very clear in what needs to be done.” Djokovic said, “Yeah, I guess the break is something that I will have to consider right now.”
Djokovic had a relatively comfortable run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year. His opening match ended early when his opponent, Martin Klizan, retired with an injury. He then won his next three matches in straight sets. But in the fourth-round win over Adrian Mannarino, Djokovic called for a trainer during the final set and those issues persisted throughout his quarter-final clash against Berdych.