Former world number one Novak Djokovic has been ruled out for rest of 2017 due to an elbow injury.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion was forced to retire in the second set of his Wimbledon quarter-final with Tomas Berdych earlier this month and later revealed that he had been suffering from pain in his right elbow for over a year-and-a-half.
One of Djokovic's doctors yesterday suggested that the Serbian would miss between six and 12 weeks due to the problem, but he has now been ruled out for the remainder of the year.
"All the doctors I've consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest. A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable. I'll do whatever it takes to recover. I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule," read a statement on his official website.
"Five months may seem long from this point, but I'm sure they will pass quickly because there is so much I want to do. Another important moment is coming, we will become parents for a second time. My wife Jelena and I are expecting our second child, and we are preparing to welcome a new family member. These are things that fill me with greatest happiness and delight. I'm confident I will be ready for start of the new season.
"It is the most important for me to recover, to be able to play injury free for as long as possible, to compete in the sport that has given me so much, the sport I love. Of course I want to return to the winning form, to win again, to win the trophies. But now it is not the time to talk about it. At this point, I'm focusing on recovery. My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when playing forehand as well.
"Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years. I think I haven't missed a single major event for more than 10 years, I've been reaching the final stages of the tournaments and playing at the highest level. The remarkable series has come to an end. My body has its limits, and I have to respect that and be grateful for all that I have achieved so far. At the beginning of my career I was facing health issues, but during years, and with a lot of patience and dedication, I found a solution. That's the approach I take to this situation, and I firmly believe that I will come back stronger."
The absence will see Djokovic - a two-time champion at Flushing Meadows - miss the 2017 US Open, bringing an end to his run of appearing at 51 consecutive Grand Slams.