Djokovic retires in France and leaves Sinner as the main favorite

PARIS-. Novak Djokovic retired on Tuesday French Open due to a right knee injury, an abrupt end to his title defense and his current reign as number one in the rankings.

“I am very sad to announce that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros,” Djokovic wrote on his social networks. “I played with my heart and gave everything in yesterday's match and, unfortunately, due to a torn medial meniscus of my right knee, my team and I had to make a difficult decision after careful analysis and consultation.

The tournament reported that the 37-year-old Serbian star suffered a tear of the medial meniscus in his right knee.

The severity of the injury was confirmed during an MRI the day after Djokovic was injured during his round of 16 victory against Argentine Francisco Cerúndolo, a match that went to a maximum of five sets and lasted longer. s 4 and a half hours.

Djokovic was scheduled to face Casper Ruud, a two-time Roland Garros runner-up, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Instead, Ruud advances directly to the semifinals, where he will face the winner of the duel between Alexander Zverev and Alex de Miñaur.

The injury adds to an irregular season for Djokovic, without titles throughout the year.

His withdrawal means that Jannik Sinner will rise to the top of the ATP rankings starting Monday.

Without Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, owner of a record 14 titles at Roland Garros, after being eliminated in the first round, another will lift the Slam champion trophy on clay for the first time on Sunday.

The list of contenders includes Sinner, the next number one. The 22-year-old Italian defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday to reach the semifinals.

Sinner He was crowned at the Australian Open in January and is the first man from his country to reach the pinnacle of tennis.

“Seeing Novak like this (injured) is something unpleasant for everyone,†he said. “I hope he recovers well soon.â€

And about your new status?

“It has enormous meaning for me. He is everyone's dream,” said Sinner, who will face the winner of the duel between Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Friday's semifinals.

In the middle of a season in which Djokovic has a record of 18-6 and without even reaching a final, the Serbian had no choice but to repeat in the Roland Garros final to extend his record of weeks as number one.

For an eternity, Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have been the kings of men's tennis – the Big Three, winning 66 Slam titles between them.

But Federer, 42, withdrew. Nadal, who turned 38 on Monday, is wondering whether he should continue on the tour after missing much of the last year and a half due to injuries.

No one knows with certainty how long Djokovic will be out of action or whether this injury could compromise his future.