“My love for this sport is strong” – Djokovic gives first update since undergoing surgery

The Serb underwent surgery in Paris on Wednesday for a torn medial meniscus in his right knee, effectively ruling him out of Wimbledon and casting doubt over his participation at the Olympics

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2024 Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2024 | © Chryslène Caillaud / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic has given his first public update since undergoing surgery on a torn medial meniscus on his right knee in Paris on Wednesday.

News of the surgery was first reported by French newspaper L’Equipe and has now been confirmed by a social media post shared by the 24-time Grand Slam champion today, just a day after the surgery.

Djokovic said that the procedure went well, and that he do everything he can to return to competitive action “as soon as possible”, although no potential timeframe for his recovery has been shared.

“In the past day, I had to make some tough decisions after sustaining a meniscus tear during my last match,” he wrote via an Instagram post.

“I’m still processing it all but I am happy to update you that the surgery went well.

“I am so appreciative of the team of doctors who have been by my side, as well as the overwhelming support I have received from my fans. I’m going to do my best to be healthy and fit to return to the court as soon as possible.

“My love for this sport is strong and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going.”

Following an epic five-set victory against Francisco Cerundolo, his second in a row at Roland-Garros this year, Djokovic revealed in his post-match press conference that he had been struggling with a knee issue for some weeks but that it was not a significant issue until after that fourth-round encounter.

Across both five-set matches, Djokovic repeatedly asked for the courts to be swept more regularly to avoid a build-up of clay, but these requests were roundly denied by tournament organisers.

He underwent an MRI scan to check the extent of the damage to his right knee on Tuesday, which revealed that he had a torn medial meniscus, prompting Djokovic to withdraw from Roland-Garros.

Surgery is usually a reluctant last resort for Djokovic, so the fact that he undertook the procedure so quickly indicates the severity of the problem and the short timeframe he has to recover in time for the Olympics.

Hopes for an eighth Wimbledon title will not be realised this year, but the prime target for the Serb has always been the Paris Olympics.

Surgery has given him a fighting chance to be fit in time for the summer games, but it will be a tight turnaround. Recovery times for this injury vary, but can be anytime between six weeks and three months.

The tennis event in the Olympic games begins in just over seven weeks’ time.

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