Novak Djokovic has made the startling admission that he suffered 'multiple injuries' at the Tokyo Olympics and he's not sure if he'll be able to play at the US Open.
Djokovic lost his cool and the match in the bronze medal playoff against Pablo Carreno Busta before withdrawing from the mixed doubles bronze medal match.
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The withdrawal handed the bronze to Ash Barty and John Peers in a walkover after it was revealed Djokovic had sustained a shoulder injury.
Djokovic copped plenty of heat on social media for robbing doubles partner Nina Stojanovic of a chance to win an Olympic medal, and plenty more were furious that they didn't get to see Djokovic and Barty face off.
However the World No.1 later revealed the extent of his injuries, admitting he didn't know if he would be able to take his place in the US Open starting later this month.
“I am dealing with injuries. Not one, more than one," he said in a post-match press conference.
"I hope that it won’t stop me from going to the US Open, which is my next big goal.
“I apologise to all the fans in Serbia who I have disappointed. I know everyone expected a medal, I did too. I feel bad for Nina because we did not fight for a medal in mixed, but my body said ’enough’.
"The consequences physically hopefully will not create a problem for me for the US Open, but that's something that I'm not sure about right now.
“I have played under medications and abnormal pain and exhaustion. But again, my heart is in the right place, because I know that I gave my all. I love to play for my country. Unfortunately, I did not get the result I wanted, but that is sport, we move on.
The 34-year-old Serb is bidding to become the first man to complete a calendar grand slam since Rod Laver in 1969 when the US Open gets under way on August 30.
The mixed doubles withdrawal came after the 20-time major champion lost his cool on his way to a surprise 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 defeat against Pablo Carreno Busta in the singles bronze-medal match.
Novak Djokovic vows to bounce back after heartbreak
Djokovic had been eyeing two gold medals when he played the singles and mixed doubles semi-finals on Friday.
But less than 24 hours after his hopes for gold were ended he was preparing to leave the Ariake Tennis Park without a medal of any colour.
He lost a gruelling match to Carreno Busta which lasted two hours and 47 minutes in suffocating heat, despite saving five match points.
The Serbian sporting icon's best result at the Olympics remains his bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.
"I just didn't deliver yesterday and today," said Djokovic, whose singles loss to Alexander Zverev ended his 'Golden Slam' bid.
"The level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion, mentally and physically."
His next opportunity to win an Olympic title will come in Paris in three years' time, when he will be 37.
The World No.1 vowed to return to the Olympic stage with a vengeance.
"I know that I will bounce back. I will try to keep going for Paris Olympic Games and fight for my country to win medals," insisted Djokovic.
"I'm sorry that I disappointed a lot of sports fans in my country.
"But that's sport, I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much. I left it out on the court."
Piers Morgan was among the many to take aim at Djokovic for his withdrawal from the mixed doubles.
Pathetic spoiled brat behaviour by Novak Djokovic at the Olympics today - smashing racquets, ranting & raving, & pulling out of the doubles thus costing his partner a medal. He let his teammates down, his fans down, & his country down. Shameful antics from a supposed champion. 👎 pic.twitter.com/YXC0TI8moC
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 31, 2021
Imagine being Djokovic’s doubles partner and he withdraws so you can’t get your bronze medal chance. Djokovic is a disgrace
— Rich (@Rjohn2021) July 31, 2021
And @kerristrug96 performed a vault on a broken ankle. What’s your point? This is the @Olympics. You acted like a disgrace on court then bailed on your mixed partner, robbing her the chance for a Bronze 🥉. Inexcusable. #olympics #tennis https://t.co/645WrHzDKi
— Holly Poinsett (@hpoinsett) July 31, 2021
AND he bailed on his mixed partner, robbing her the chance at a Bronze 🥉. Just think of all the unwarranted criticism @Simone_Biles faced & this guy acts like an utter #disgrace at the #olympics #tennis. Wow. https://t.co/D3kgjsJUrV
— Holly Poinsett (@hpoinsett) July 31, 2021
I love Djokovic but I think dropping out of the doubles and denying his partner the chance of a possible medal was super selfish
— Wizle (@Ada_Ojilibeka) July 31, 2021
— Avery's Mom :) #GKG (@pris232) July 31, 2021
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