Novak Djokovic is set to miss the summer hard-court series as well as the U.S. Open after it was revealed he has a bone bruise in his elbow.
Serbian doctor Zdenko Milinkovic said the former world number one's injury requires six to twelve weeks of rest with surgery still a last resort and is "99 percent" out of the season's final Grand Slam in New York.
Injury a concern for a while
During Wimbledon, Djokovic had revealed he has been battling this injury for 18 months and is part of the reason for his decline since winning last year's French Open. The injury forced him to retire in the quarterfinals at The All-England Club, trailing Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 2-0.
The Serb has had, by his standards, a terrible year, losing in the second round of the Australian Open to Denis Istomin, the quarterfinals at Roland Garros to Dominic Thiem and the Wimbledon loss to Berdych.
He has won just two small tournaments this year in Doha and Eastbourne. Starting the year as the dominant number one, the forced absence will see Djokovic fall to fifth in the rankings as he is unable to defend his title at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and a finals appearance in Flushing Meadows.
"Excessive playing" the cause of latest crisis
Milinkovic would go on to say that not giving himself enough rest in between tournaments was the reason the injury was aggravated further. While instructing Djokovic not to pick up a racquet during the rest period, he was given the green light to participate in training and fitness routines.
The injury comes at a time when the 12-time major winner is facing his most trying year on tour. In addition to the loss of his number one ranking and failing to defend his titles in Melbourne and Paris, he fired his entire team in early May.
Pepe Imaz was temporarily in charge of the Serb's on-court affairs until Andre Agassi came aboard just before the French. Former Wimbledon semifinalist Mario Ancic was brought on to help Djokovic out in London and will continue to work with him periodically.
Plans for rest period and remainder of the year
While Djokovic is taking time off, he will be looked after to see how this period is going and further evaluation will be determine if he will be able to compete in the rest of the season after the U.S. Open.
Back home in Belgrade, he will hold a press conference later this week to further announce his plans for the rest of the season.