Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has pulled the pin on 2017 in a shock move after a disappointing end to his Wimbledon campaign.
The 12-time grand slam winner called it quits after dropping out of his quarterfinal clash against Tomas Berdych earlier this month with a niggling elbow injury.
The 30-year-old Serbian revealed medical staff urged him to pull out of the rest of the year — which includes the upcoming US Open — on Wednesday night (AEST).
“They all agreed I need rest, that I need time,” he revealed on his website. “This is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly.”
“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.
“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.”
In a live Facebook video post from Belgrade, the former world number one said that after suffering from the injury for a year-and-a-half, “I have made a decision to not play any competition, any tournaments” for the rest of 2017.
“Unfortunately this is the decision that had to be made at this moment. Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated,” he said.
Between mid-January 2015 and June 2016, Djokovic won 17 of his 22 finals played in 24 tournaments. It seemed nothing could interrupt his dominance of world tennis.
But since winning the French Open last year to complete his Career Grand Slam, he has failed to claim another major title. He crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round and the French Open in the quarter-finals.