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Djokovic Wrist Injury Hinders No. 1 Bid

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Djokovic© RealisDefending champion Novak Djokovic succumbed to rival Roger Federer in Saturday's Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic is determined to remain positive despite aggravating a wrist injury at a most inopportune time. The Serb, who has a strong chance to retake the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking if he plays a full clay-court swing rich with rankings points, says that his wrist deeply troubled him in his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-final loss to Roger Federer on Saturday. But he is at least thankful that the injury will not require surgery.

“The good thing is I don't need to have surgery,” said Djokovic. “I don’t have anything ruptured or something like that. I'm going to go see doctors tonight and then tomorrow again have another MRI."

When asked if the injury is tendonitis, the World No. 2 said, “I really don't know what's the diagnosis, to be honest…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. I'm going to rest and see when it can heal 100 per cent, then I will be back on the court.”

The injury comes at a difficult time with Djokovic poised to challenge Rafael Nadal for the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The Belgrade native has the next two weeks off, with his next scheduled event being the Mutua Madrid Open, the second clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year. The tournament begins on 4 May.

Djokovic battled early against Federer, holding a pair of set points to break the Swiss at 5-4 in the first set. It was in those latter stages of the opening set that the 26 year old admitted his wrist began to hamper his play. “From the end of the first and the whole second, every shot was painful, especially with the serve.”

Djokovic's competitive drive was unyielding as the match wore on, refusing to give a walkover or retire. “I am a professional athlete. I fight. I compete. I don't like to withdraw from tournaments. I don't like to retire my matches. I like to play to the last point.

“In the end of the day, the end of the tournament, semi-finals is a good result. But I'm disappointed that I could not play as well as I could have.”

Despite having two weeks off since the Sony Open Tennis final, Djokovic added that he has been suffering for 10 days. “The pain was there every single day from 10 days ago. At some stages it was very painful. Between the first and second match I had a day off so I didn't practise at all and I healed a little bit. Then again I started playing.

“I had two weeks between Miami and Monte-Carlo. It's not like I was tired or I had some long trips or something like that. It just happened during the practice week. Sometimes it just happens. It's not predictable.”

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