ATP Tour

Djokovic out for 'some time'

Novak Djokovic (AFP)
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Monte Carlo - Novak Djokovic admitted he has no idea when he will play again after a right wrist injury contributed to his 7-5, 6-2 Monte Carlo Masters semi-final loss to Roger Federer on Saturday.

World number two and defending champion Djokovic, who played with a brace on his wrist, revealed that he suffered pain in his wrist all week.

But with the French Open just five weeks away, and his next scheduled event the Madrid Masters in a fortnight, timing is everything for the Serb who won the 2013 Monte Carlo title against Rafael Nadal.

"I'll 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%, then I will be back on the court," said Djokovic.

"The good thing is I don't need to have a surgery, I don't have any rupture or something like that.

"I'm going to go see the doctors tonight and then tomorrow again and have another MRI, see if anything changed in the seven days since I had the last one."

Monte Carlo-based Djokovic, whose loss ended a 13-match win streak and a run of 23 in a row at the Masters level, admitted he had to play through the pain barrier all week in his aborted title defence.

"The pain was there every single day from 10 days ago, at some stages it was very painful. Between my 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.

"Yesterday's conditions (a quarter-final win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in heavy night conditions) did not help the state of my arm -- long match, long rallies, heavy balls.

"I really don't know the diagnosis, to be honest. I heard so many things in last 10 days. Trust me, it's complicated."

While it's too early for panic stations regarding the French Open -- the only Grand Slam title missing from his collection -- Djokovic is still puzzling as to exactly how he suffered his problem.

"I had two weeks between Miami and Monte Carlo (in March). It's not like I was tired or I had some long trips or something like that.

"It just happened during the practise week, sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it's not predictable."

Federer admitted he knew Djokovic was not at his best.

"I did see that Novak was struggling at one point," said the Swiss, who will meet compatriot and close friend Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday's final.

"For me it was more just making sure that from my side I was playing a good, solid, tough match with some good defensive play sometimes, but mostly trying to stay on the offensive as much as I could."

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