Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic said “life goes on” after a shoulder injury forced him to quit Sunday’s clash with Stan Wawrinka in the last 16 of the US Open.
Wawrinka, the 23rd seed and 2016 champion, led Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 2-1 when the Serb quit with a nagging left shoulder problem that had troubled him since the start of the tournament.
“The pain was constant for weeks now. Some days higher, some days with less intensity and obviously taking different stuff to kill the pain instantly,” Djokovic said.
“Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You just know when you know, I guess, when you feel like you’re not able to hit the shot anymore”, he said
Djokovic refused to expand on the nature of his injury, which had caused him considerable pain during a second-round win over Juan Ignacio Londero.
Djokovic had claimed he felt “almost pain-free” following a straight-sets defeat of Denis Kudla in round three, but the problem resurfaced against Wawrinka in the first meeting between the pair since the final here three years ago.
The world number one received treatment before the start of the third set against Wawrinka but soon threw in the towel, the sixth time he has retired at a Grand Slam tournament.