Novak Djokovic will miss the US Open after confirming he will sit out the rest of the 2017 season due to an elbow injury.
Djokovic was trailing 6-7 (2-7) 0-2 in the second set of his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych this month when the Serbian was forced to retire.
After losing his number one ranking to Andy Murray last November, the 30-year-old has slipped to fourth in the ATP rankings, winning just two titles this year.
And the 12-time grand slam champion has now announced he will not compete again in 2017 as he seeks to recover from an elbow injury, meaning he will miss the US Open and the ATP World Tour Finals.
“Just want to share the news with you,” he said on Facebook.
“After obviously a year and a half of carrying the injury of the elbow that has culminated in the last couple of months, I have made a decision to not play any competitions or tournaments for the rest of the 2017 season.
“Unfortunately this is the decision that had to be made at this moment. Wimbledon was the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated.
“I have consulted many of the doctors and specialists… in the last 12-15 months, especially in the last couple of months when I have felt the injury is getting worse. They all agree that I need rest, that I need time.
“A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable. I’ll do whatever it takes to recover.
“I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule.
I took time to make a decision about my recovery. Sorry for keeping you in the dark these days. Read more here https://t.co/tCSw46TOL2
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) July 26, 2017
“Five months may seem long from this point, but I’m sure they will pass quickly because there is so much I want to do.
“Another important moment is coming, we will become parents for a second time.
“My wife Jelena and I are expecting our second child, and we are preparing to welcome a new family member.
“These are things that fill me with greatest happiness and delight. I’m confident I will be ready for start of the new season.”
Djokovic also confirmed he intends to continue working with Andre Agassi after the retired American great began acting as a coach prior to the French Open.
“We’ve been speaking regularly,” he said.
“Andre was with me in Toronto and he helped me find doctors, specialists in treating elbow injuries.
“During this short period of time, we’ve been getting to know each other and building trust and understanding.
“He supports my decision to take a break, and remains my head coach. He is going to help me get back into shape and bounce back strong after the recovery period.”
Djokovic can take encouragement from the decision of Roger Federer to sit out the second half of last season to recover from injury. The veteran Swiss missed the US Open and the Olympics only to return this year and win both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, either side of skipping the French Open which was won by the resurgent Rafael Nadal.
Murray, meanwhile, suffered from a hip problem as he surrendered his title at the All England Club, losing to Sam Querrey in the last eight, but it is not known if the Brit will be required to join Djokovic in taking an extended period off to recover.