Tennis fans expressed their grief afterwards Novak Djokovic’s team with Jonathan Ehrlich In the Tel Aviv Open Championship.
Djokovic has not played any official ATP event Since winning Wimbledon back in July, he’s missed the recent US hard-court swing and the US Open due to a vaccination case.
He participated in the Laver Cup In London last weekend bid farewell to Roger Federer, but the event was not an official ATP tournament.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion returned to the ATP level at the Tel Aviv Open in Israel this week and was planning to play doubles alongside veteran Israeli Ehrlich.
Djokovic won the only doubles title of his career alongside Ehrlich at Queen’s Club in 2010, with the duo reviving their partnership at the last Ehrlich event before his retirement.
But the plan was spoiled on Wednesday when Ehrlich was forced to retire with a back injury during training.
The 45-year-old said he was suffering from back spasms and was shocked that he could not play in the last event of his career in front of his fans.
Both Ehrlich and Djokovic addressed the crowd in Tel Aviv to apologize for the situation, with Djokovic praising Israel.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t play today,” the Serbian star said.
“I wish Yoni the best of luck in the next phase of his life. He knows I am always here and I will be happy to help Israeli tennis as much as I can.”
Initial reports stated that Djokovic was looking for a new partner to continue the doubles, but later withdrew to hand over Bart Stevens and Sander Arends.
Fans have taken to social media to express their grief over Erlich and Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic has a wrist problem after the Laver Cup
Fortunately for the fans, Djokovic will still be participating in the singles at the ATP 250 event and Take over Pablo Andegar Thursday.
However, he revealed earlier this week that he was troubled by a wrist problem at the Laver Cup, suggesting his long absence from the ATP Tour may be to blame.
The 35-year-old put in an impressive performance on Saturday by winning the singles and doubles matches, but lost in straight sets to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime on the final day of competition on Sunday.
“I’ve been struggling with my right wrist for the past four or five days, to be honest,” Djokovic told reporters.
“The two matches yesterday may have had an impact. Today was not easy. I couldn’t serve as fast or as accurate as I would like. It affected the whole match.”
Djokovic said the wrist problem could be due to a combination of factors, but pointed to the fact that he hasn’t played in nearly three months.
“He might not be playing games for about three months, so the conditions here make the balls really big and slow,” he said.
Djokovic said qualifying for the ATP Finals in November in Turin remained his goal, while also revealing that he will play an event in Kazakhstan next week and then the Paris Masters at the end of October.
His Wimbledon victory guarantees a place in the Round End Finals if he stays in the top 20 in the world.
The 35-year-old’s rating has received a lot of success in recent months and is now ranked seventh in the world.
He lost 2,000 ranking points despite winning Wimbledon after being stripped of points following the All England Club’s ban on players from Russia and Belarus over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
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