Novak Djokovic Avoids Serious Ankle Injury But Will Need Time To Heal |
Fears that Novak Djokovic had done himself lasting damage by playing on after twisting an ankle in Sunday’s Davis Cup win over the United States, were finally allayed by the results of an MRI scan in Monte Carlo.
However the world no.1 still seems extremely unlikely to contest the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, the first Masters 1000 series event of the year to be staged on European red clay, that begins on Sunday.
A statement issued on Djokovic’s website read: “The world’s top player has undergone an MRI examination this morning which revealed no structural damage to the joint capsule and ligaments. A joint structures strain requires therapy and strict rest in the following days.”
Djokovic makes no secret of the fact that his overriding aim this year is to complete his collection of Grand Slam titles by winning the French Open at Roland Garros.
Several ankle specialists made the point that his injury needs at least ten days to recover fully and therefore a decision to play the Monte Carlo event would appear foolhardy. However Djokovic is a long-time resident of the Principality of Monaco and would feel some pressure to take part in the tournament.
The statement added: “Depending on the recovery, a decision will be made on Nole’s participation at the forthcoming tournament in Monte Carlo.”
Djokovic injured his right ankle early in his four-set victory against Sam Querrey and, despite closing out a 7-5, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 success he appeared to be struggling when he put weight on that foot. The win sealed Serbia’s place in the semi-finals of a competition they won in 2010, a triumph that provided the portent for Djokovic’s memorable year in 2011 when he won three of the four grand slam tournaments.
“Obviously it’s very strong emotion when you play for your country; I guess that’s the biggest reason why I kept playing,” Djokovic told the Davis Cup website after beating Querrey. “Injuries are a part of sport and you try to avoid as much as you can as an athlete.”
This is about as good as it gets when it comes to a pair of 500-point tournaments. Roger Federer will play in front of home fans as the No. 1 seed at the Swiss Indoors Basel, where Rafael Nadal’s comeback from a wrist injury and perseverance through appendicitis will continue.
This was pretty straightforward: Marin Cilic broke once in the middle of the first set, and again at the beginning of the second, and he was never broken. It's his fourth title of the year -- twice as many as he had ever won before even if you ignore the fact that one of them was the U. S. Open.
Sunday's showdown between David Ferrer and Andy Murray at the Erste Bank Open not only had a title on the line but also World Tour Finals implications. The two veterans entered this week separated by one spot in the race to London, both outside the top eight with Ferrer in ninth and Murray in 10th.
We keep crossing Ernests Gulbis out of London, and it's never quite officially true. But this makes it incredibly close (more in the Feature). Roberto Bautista Agut can't quite make London, but with this, he's up to #14. That's as high as he can go this week, and probably this year, but still, what a breakthrough season!
What in the world has gotten into Irina-Camelia Begu? She has one WTA title (Tashkent 2012) and a couple of other finals (Marbella 2011, Budapest 2011) -- but those were bottom-tier events. And, here, she has beaten two Top Twenty players, Ekaterina Makarova and now Lucie Safarova.