Novak Djokovic has to wait until next year to perhaps claim his 17th Grand Slam as the World No. 1 retired injured from the US Open. The defending champion’s stay at the last Grand Slam of the year ended abruptly when he stopped playing during his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka because of pain in his left shoulder.
Djokovic, after a good start began trailing 6-4, 7-5, 2-1 when he retired from the match in Arthur Ashe Stadium, shaking his head as he walked over to the chair umpire to say he was conceding. Wawrinka, who will face No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals was quoted saying after the match, “It’s never the way you want to finish the match. I feel sorry for Novak”.
The World No. 1 began complaining about his left shoulder during his second-round match in the US Open, he even repeatedly got massaged by a trainer during changeovers. Djokovic, however won his next match looking good, and declared himself mostly pain-free, although he refused to disclose any details of the injury or what type of treatment he had received. After he retired, the defending champion said, “The pain was constant for weeks now, some days higher, some days with less intensity. Taking different stuff to kill the pain instantly. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You just know (to quit) when you know, I guess, when you feel like you’re not able to hit the shot anymore”.
Novak Djokovic earlier had won 36 of his past 37 Grand Slam matches, and four of the last five major titles, in what is seen as one of the most dominant stretches tennis has ever seen. His exit from the US Open scuttles the possibility of a semifinal clash between Djokovic and 20-time major champion Roger Federer, which would have been a rematch of their historic Wimbledon final in July.