Novak Djokovic Withdraws from French Open with Injured Right Knee

PARIS — Novak Djokovic has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the French Open due to an injured right knee. The abrupt end to his title defense and his current stay at No. 1 in the rankings was announced on Tuesday. Djokovic expressed his sadness in a social media post, revealing that a medial meniscus tear in his right knee led to this outcome. The injury was discovered after an MRI exam on Tuesday, following a fourth-round match against No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo that lasted over 4 1/2 hours.

With Djokovic out of the tournament, No. 7 seed Casper Ruud will receive a walkover into the semifinals. This turn of events opens up the field, with someone new set to claim the men’s trophy at Roland Garros. Among the remaining contenders is No. 2 seed Jannik Sinner, who is now in line to replace Djokovic atop the ATP rankings. Sinner secured his spot in the semifinals by defeating Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday.

The injury forced Djokovic to exit the competition at a crucial moment, with uncertainties surrounding his future in the sport. The timing raises questions about his participation in upcoming events such as Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics. Djokovic’s withdrawal has reshaped the landscape of men’s tennis, leaving fans and players eager to see who will emerge victorious at the French Open.

As Djokovic focuses on his recovery, the tournament continues to showcase thrilling matchups, with emerging talents like Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz vying for the championship. The absence of Djokovic and other seasoned players has paved the way for new narratives to unfold in the world of tennis. While Djokovic’s legacy remains intact, his absence from the French Open marks a significant shift in the competitive dynamics of the sport.