Djokovic announces he’s taking rest of year off

Novak Djokovic is now gone this year as his elbow is way too sore and he can’t hit as hard as he can. So, next year, he will return in 2018 — we think. When he gets used to playing again, the 12-time Grand Slam champion can eventually win another major.

He hopes.

In the past year or so, all the great players pulled out for quite a while. In 2016, Roger Federer stopped playing after Wimbledon and and needed to rest his body. In October, Rafa Nadal decided to stop playing the rest of the year. His legs were super sore. This season, Andy Murray might pull out of the US Open. He is hurt, too, with a lingering hip injury. Only Stan Wawrinka is physically OK, but it has happened before, and it could happen again.

All of them are 30 years old and above. All of them are fantastic players. Since 2003 — 14 years ago — they have combined for 52 Grand Slam titles. That is a phenomenal.

But eventually, all of them will retire. It could be soon, it could in a few years, or possibly longer, but at some point, it is time to go.

You cannot be perfect all the time. Not just the strokes, but your legs and arms will break down … and the wrists are event more susceptible.

The good thing is that the great 35-year-old Federer has rarely been hurt. At the start of this year, he was fresh, fast and oh-so quick. He won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami. Then he stopped for two months — on clay — just to rest. That was a great move, because when he returned on grass, he was as fresh as a daisy. He won Wimbledon without dropping a set.

The same goes with Nadal. He came back at the start of this year, and he looks very fast and strong. His legs and his arm were muscular and, once he got on clay, he was ready to race. He easily won Roland Garros, his 10th.

Djokovic never looked great this year. He was mediocre at the Australian Open, Roland Garros (he almost gave up) and Wimbledon, he was mentally out of it. Today, he is pretty upset. However, when he gets his surgery, he will eventually heal. Will he return to his championship form? He can, if the doctor will do it the right way. But we don’t know that yet. 

Will keeping Andre Agassi in his camp help lift him out of this funk, even though Agassi has no coaching experience?

Murray has had a tough year. His first serve is OK, but it is not great and his second serve is right down the middle. His backhand is phenomenal, but his forehand lands too short. He is confused and he might stop until his arm is powerful again.

Wawrinka seems to be OK, but he was pretty flat at Wimbledon. Whether he can mentally rise up again and win the US Open once again? We will know when he returns to the courts of Flushing Meadows.

Look, the elders are the favorites until they retire, but maybe someone else can win the US Open in six weeks: Marin Cilic, who won the tournament in NY three years ago. Juan Martin Del Potro, who won it in 2009. All four of the big guys have won the USO: Federer, Nadal, Murray and Wawrinka. It could be them again.

There are a few outsiders who have a chance: Thiem, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov and Zverev.

But not Djokovic, who will not play in August in New York. That is too bad, because the Serbian loves to slide on the hard court. He must rest and let it heal.

Leave a Reply