Novak Djokovic inspirational run (57- 1) had a sad end written to it with a shoulder injury forcing him to retire in the finals against Andy Murray in Cincinnati. He retired being down 4-6, 0-3 in the second set of the match. Throughout the match, Djokovic looked physically exhausted and too tired from his consecutive Masters finals. At the end of the first set-Djokovic took an injury timeout but it was apparent that Djokovic was suffering from pain in the shoulder. He still tried to play but could not continue further. His serve was a mere 100MPH in the second set! It was a case of body taking control over his mind!
Djokovic said after the match on his shoulder injury: “It has been there for about 10 days. Pain was increasing” ”I apologize to the tournament; I apologize to the people who came here today to watch…I really tried. I just could not serve. I could not play forehands.
I could have maybe played another couple of games, but what for? I cannot beat a player like Murray today with one stroke.”
But the concern for his fans would be- US Open and his chances to play?
Good news is: Djokovic himself is confident enough to recover before US Open and play there!
If you look at a shoulder injury there are treatments available for it and it can be healed with proper rest! The advantage in US Open would be – Lighter balls and a bit less harsh conditions than Rogers Cup and Cincinnati! So a sign of good omen for Djokovic!
The bigger question is – US Open might have just opened up in terms of strong favorites! With 11 out of 20 top players injured after Wimbledon- Djokovic’s injury might give a moral boost to his opponents! He had been 33-0 in hard court season until today but with his injury- will he be able to play as well as before? If he can take rest-maybe yes but mentally his opponents will feel more confident and raring to go out against him! Today’s injury has confirmed the belief that he is also human!
If Djokovic is fit by next week, he will be back with a strong fire burning inside him to start another chapter! But with his opponents now getting a boost up mentally knowing about his injury, US Open is all set to be one of the most entertaining GS of the year!