Novak Djokovic pulls out of the 2024 French Open

Tennis: French Open

One of the biggest stories of the 2024 French Open this week came Tuesday as it was reported that world number one and 24-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic of Belgrade, Serbia withdrew from his men’s quarterfinal match on Wednesday against world number seven and three-time grand slam finalist Casper Ruud of Norway due to injury. By withdrawing from the tournament, Djokovic also gave up his number one world ranking, as Italy’s Jannik Sinner will be first in the world on Monday.

What was the ailment?

Djokovic tore his right meniscus on Monday in his five set win over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo, the 23rd seed. Djokovic won the first set easily 6-1, and then called for the trainer in the second set. Cerundolo evened the match with a 7-5 second set win, and then went up two sets to one with a 6-3 third set win. However, Djokovic found another gear, played through pain, and won the last two sets, 7-5, 6-3.

When will Djokovic be back?

It is rather doubtful at this time that Djokovic will compete at Wimbledon in early July. There is a general feeling that Djokovic will return for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which will be the same site as the French Open. The Olympic tournament will be easier on Djokovic’s body as it is only three sets compared to five.

Who is in the French Open final four?

Joining Ruud in the French Open semifinals are Sinner, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz. Alcaraz will play Sinner in a semifinal blockbuster, and Ruud will play Zverev. Alcaraz and Sinner have beaten each other four times. This will be their third meeting at a major. Sinner won in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2022, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Alcaraz won the quarterfinals of the 2022 United States Open, 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3. Their only match this year came in the semifinals of Indian Wells, where Alcaraz won 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Zverev and Ruud have beaten each other twice. Zverev won 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of Cincinnati in 2021 and 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Paris Indoor in 2021. Ruud won 6-3, 1-6. 6-3 in the quarterfinals of Miami in 2022, and 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals of the 2023 French Open.


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