Novak Djokovic ruled out for rest of 2017

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after a point against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka during their men's final match of the Roland Garros 2015 French Tennis Open in Paris on June 7, 2015
© Getty Images
Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is ruled out for rest of the year due to an elbow injury.

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.

Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Steve Darcis at the French Open in Paris on May 26, 2016
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ATP RankingsPoints
1Scotland flag Andy Murray7,750
2Spain Rafael Nadal7,555
3Switzerland Roger Federer7,145
4Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka5,780
5Serbia Novak Djokovic5,325
6Croatia Marin Cilic5,155
7Alexander Zverev4,470
8Austria Dominic Thiem4,030
9Japan Kei Nishikori3,285
10Canada Milos Raonic3,230
11Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov3,070
12France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga2,770
13Belgium David Goffin2,560
14Spain Roberto Bautista Agut2,425
15Czech Republic Tomas Berdych2,390
16United States Jack Sock2,335
17Pablo Carreno Busta2,305
18Lucas Pouille2,220
19United States John Isner2,110
20United States Sam Querrey2,060