Novak Djokovic faces break from tennis to treat right wrist injury
Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Roger Federer of Switzerland, during their semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April, 19, 2014. Federer won 7-6, 6-2. (AP / Claude Paris)
Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, April 19, 2014 2:27PM EDT
MONACO -- Six-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic faces an anxious wait to see how long his right-wrist injury will keep him away from tennis.
Djokovic lost his Monte Carlo Masters title on Saturday after being beaten by Roger Federer in the semifinal, where the Serb played with heavy strapping on his right wrist and was unable to serve or return to his usual level.
"I just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time. How long, I don't know. It's really not in my hands anymore," Djokovic said. "I'm going to rest and see when it can heal 100 per cent, then I will be back on the court."
There was some bright news, however.
"Well, the good thing is I don't need to have a surgery. I don't have any rupture or something like that," Djokovic said. "I'm going to go see doctors tonight and then tomorrow again have another MRI (scan), see if anything changed in this seven days since I had the last one."
He does not know what the exact injury is.
"I heard so many things in last 10 days," Djokovic said. "Trust me, it's complicated."
The second-ranked Serb had complained earlier this week about the pain, but then said it felt better after taking a day off from playing and training between his matches on Tuesday and Thursday.
His arduous quarterfinal win against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Friday, needing more than two hours to beat the Spaniard, aggravated the pain.
"Long match, long rallies, heavy balls, definitely did not help the state of my arm," he said. "Since last night it was as it is now."
Djokovic was looking to win his fifth straight Masters title but felt he was up against it from the outset.
"The pain was there every single day from 10 days ago. At some stages it was very painful," he said. "I didn't want to pull out (against Federer) because then people start talking different things about me and my withdraws and so forth. That was the main reason."
Djokovic thinks he may have started training too hard on clay after switching from the grueling hard courts in the United States, where he won Masters titles at Miami and Indian Wells.
"It happened in two days. Obviously I practiced a lot. Maybe I started a bit too strong," he said. "The transition from hard court to clay, different balls, have probably taken its toll."