Novak Djokovic’s lingering right elbow issue has proved too painful to overcome. The No. 2 seed retired against No. 11 Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarterfinal on Wednesday, trailing 6-7, 0-2.
His cramped schedule certainly didn’t help.
The Serbian superstar had to wait until Tuesday to play Adrian Mannarino in the Round of 16 after Gilles Muller’s marathon win over Rafael Nadal. While Djokovic was victorious in three straightforward sets, he did need medical assistance in the third set for the elbow. Djokovic was none too happy about the decision to delay the match a day and simply couldn’t hold up health-wise a day later.
It’s a second straight disappointing finish at the All England Club for the 12-time major champ. Last year, he fell to Sam Querrey in a third-round upset. Before that, Djokovic had won the championship in back-to-back years.
Djokovic clearly wasn’t 100 percent and got medical assistance between sets against Berdych, during which the trainer stretched and massaged his arm. But the treatment was to no avail, and Djokovic ended the match shortly thereafter, shaking his head as he walked to the net. It’s the first time he’s retired from a slam match since the Australian Open in 2009.
A sad sight.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 12, 2017
“It’s not the shoulder, it’s the elbow that keeps bothering me,” Djokovic said post-match. “For over a year and a half actually. It’s unfortunate I have to finish Wimbledon in this way. I was able for 30 minutes to play with some pain that was bearable. All the treatments and medication couldn’t help.”
As for Berdych, he’ll meet Roger Federer in the semifinal. The 6’5″ Czech is making his second straight appearance in the Wimbledon semis.