Novak Djokovic has almost certainly been ruled out of the 2017 US Open, according to his Davis Cup doctor Zdenko Milikovic.
The Serbian world number four has been struggling with an elbow injury and despite winning his first title in five months at the Wimbledon warm-up event in Eastbourne, Milikovic has confirmed that the 2011 and 2015 champion at Flushing Meadows is “99 percent” certain to miss the final Grand Slam of the year.
Djokovic "has been playing with serious injury"
“Nole needs to rest for six to twelve weeks,” Milikovic told reporters in Serbia on Monday. “In his next examination we will know if that estimation will change or will remain the same. During this time he will not be allowed to train with a racket, but he will be able to do physical work. Of course, he will follow a special course of treatment. He has a bruised elbow due to the amount of games he has played. He has not rested sufficiently, he gritted his teeth and continued to play despite having a serious injury. He did the right thing when he retired at Wimbledon against [Tomas] Berdych; he avoided further problems.”
"Surgery is the final option"
Milikovic said that he is unsure of Djokovic will have to undergo surgery to correct the problem: “Novak is in Toronto undergoing some further tests with specialists. Right now it is important that he rests with various recovery therapies. Surgery is the final option.”
Djokovic's US Open record
The news has caused some reports in Serbia that Djokovic could miss the rest of the 2017 season but in the meantime his absence at Flushing Meadows throws open the field. Since 2007 Djokovic has not been beaten before the semi-final stage and he has reached seven finals in total, winning twice, against Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer respectively.