Novak Djokovic, who pulled out through injury, apologises to fans who had bought tickets for his quarter-final showdown with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Top seed Novak Djokovic yesterday pulled out of the ATP Paris Masters, in which he was due to play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals, because of a shoulder injury. The Serb world number one said his shoulder had worsened after his 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over compatriot Viktor Troicki on Thursday. "Sadly I have to inform you that I have withdrawn from the further tournament," Djokovic announced on his official website.
Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point during his semi-final match against Kei Nishikori at the Swiss Indoors recently. Pic/Getty Images
"I have pushed myself to the limit by playing, and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse. "For this reason, I have to put my health first and withdraw even though my urges as a professional player are making me want to play until the last drop of energy. "I am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come and watch me play. My season has been long and tiring, I played all of my matches at my highest level, and now my body is aching for recovery. Hoping for your understanding and support."
ATP officials said yesterday that Djokovic flew directly to his Monte Carlo base to begin treatment by the same specialists who somehow got him fit for a Paris start after re-injuring the shoulder in last weekend's Basel semi-final loss to Kei Nishikori. With players for the eight-man World Tour Finals in London due in on Thursday, the timetable gives Djokovic at least six treatment days.
Should he get a Monday (November 21) start at the year-ender, he would have ten days to aim for fitness for the problem which also forced him with quit at mid-match in the August Cincinnati final against Andy Murray.
Murray exits Tomas Berdych outlasted second seed Andy Murray in a marathon battle of missed opportunities yesterday to earn a 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 trip into the semi-finals. The frustrated Murray ended with a forehand wide on a second match point for fifth seed Berdych, who qualified into the field for the year-end World Tour Finals starting a week from Sunday in London. The quarter-final struggle lasted for nearly three-and-a-quarter hours, with Murray missing on 15 of 17 break point chances and Berdych managing to break twice from 14 opportunities.