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Novak Djokovic withdraws from Madrid Masters, French Open preparations derailed

Novak Djokovic's preparations for the French Open have suffered a body blow as the Serb has withdrawn from Madrid Masters with a wrist injury.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the Mutua Madrid Masters event owing to continued problems with his right wrist. The Serb, who lost to Roger Federer in the semifinal of the Monte Carlo Masters, was in Madrid trying to prepare for the event at the Caja Magica, but persistent problems with his wrist have rendered him unfit to play in the event this week.

Djokovic has been celebrating the news of his fiance Jelena Ristic’s pregnancy in recent weeks and was optimistic that he would be ready to take on Joao Sousa or Marin Cilic in the second round of the Madrid Masters. However, the Serb suffered a recurrence of the problem with his wrist that put paid to his hopes of participating in the event.

He finally decided today that it wasn’t going to be possible for him to play the tournament given the state of his injury. “I am very sorry for the Madrid tournament and all the Spanish fans to have to pull out of the Madrid Open,” said Djokovic. “I did everything possible in order to play in Madrid, which is one of the biggest events of the year, but unfortunately my right arm injury has flared up again.”

“Now I will take some time to recover and heal my injury, hoping I will be ready for Rome,” added the disappointed world No. 2. “I look forward to returning to Madrid next year.”

Djokovic expects to be ready for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, scheduled to begin next Sunday. However, this is another body blow to the Serb, who is eager to fill the only real hole in his glossy resume. The Serb has won six Grand Slam titles, but is yet to taste success at the French Open, the only Major played on clay.

The injury derailed Djokovic at Monte Carlo too, where he played the semifinal against Federer with heavy strapping on his arm. Before that, Djokovic had won every Masters Series event since Shanghai last year. He won Shanghai, Paris, Indian Wells and Miami to make it four in a row.

Djokovic is running out of time as he seeks to prepare for what was the big focus of his season. One can only hope that he can play at the Rome Masters and get some tennis under his shoes ahead of the French Open, which starts on 25 May. Given how wrist injuries have waylaid the career of Juan Martin Del Potro, the Serb’s army of fans will sure hope that their player’s injury is far less serious.

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