The 2017 Wimbledon Championships campaign ended in the quarter-finals for former champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on Wednesday. But the two men - who ruthlessly dominated the 2016 season - have now been inflicted with more misery because of their bodies not holding up.
A grimacing Murray was still able to hang in there in his last-eight encounter against Sam Querrey till the end and ultimately fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-6. The World No. 1’s hip injury had been well documented and there were lingering doubts of his participation at this year’s championships.
The picture was even sombre for the three-time champion Djokovic, who won the Eastbourne title ahead of The Championships. The second seed could not even complete his quarter-final against the 11th seeded Tomas Berdych and had to retire, trailing 6(2)-7, 0-2.
Djokovic, who has endured a lacklustre 12 months since completing his Career Slam at the 2016 French Open, had time and again talked about gaining in confidence with every win at the SW19 this year. Unfortunately, his right elbow injury flared up again, forcing him to quit in a Slam for the first time in eight years.
Scheduled to be readjusted, trying to avoid surgery: Djokovi
The Serbian’s media interaction looked rather gloomy thereafter with him admitting that this has been a recurring problem for the past 18 months and that the intensity of pain just increased as the day went by.
Only for 30 minutes he felt pain-free but it became unbearable during serves and forehands, the former World No. 1 revealed. The 12-time Major champion did everything possible to recover and play at this stage but playing for two days in a row only added to the plight.
He had even considered giving the quarter-finals a miss but wanted to give it a shot and hoped for the best.
The Serbian’s mind is shrouded with lots of doubts currently and the future ahead is unknown. He believes his schedule needs to be readjusted as the persistent pain keeps coming back. A longer break than usual might just be the solution to address the issue instead of a surgery, he is hoping.
“The specialists that I’ve talked with haven’t been too clear with mentioning surgery or different options,” the World No. 4 said.
“It kind of comes and goes. The more I play the worse it gets. I guess the break is something I’ll consider right now,” he pondered.
Murray plans to take a few weeks off
Murray, who remains as the numero uno following Djokovic’s retirement, has not been too keen to divulge details of his hip problem. The top seed was a set and a break up against Querrey only to fade away as his physical condition waned. Towards the end, the 30-year-old was not even running to return serves.
The Briton did admit that he had playing the whole tournament with pain, adding that this particular injury is something he had been managing for quite some time. Age, however, aggravated it.
His team will chalk out a plan ahead of the US Open and if taking a few weeks off is what helps him to heal, he is up for it.