So Novak Djokovic was it worth it? Was it worth playing Paris to collect your $1.6 million in bonus money only to further damage your ailing shoulder?
Earlier today Djokovic did what he should have done earlier in the week and that is withdraw from the Paris Masters.
“Sadly i have to inform you that i have withdrawn from the further tournament,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I have pushed myself to the limit by playing, and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse. For this reason, I have to put my health first and withdraw even though my urges as a professional player are making me want to play until the last drop of energy. I am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come and watch me play. My season has been long and tiring, I played all of my matches at my highest level, and now my body is aching for recovery. Hoping for your understanding and support.”
Put your health first? Where was that on Sunday when it sure seemed like you were putting your bank account first?
That said, I give some credit to Novak for showing up and winning a few matches but withdrawing ahead of the biggest match of the tournament thus far – he was to play the marquee match against JW Tsonga today – is a crushing blow to fans and the tournament who all looked forward to that showdown.
However, he could have simply lost to his buddy Troicki yesterday and given his countryman the rewards of that quarterfinal.
So on one hand you have to give him credit for competing but on another it did seem like there was no chance he could have won or gone deep in the tournament, so why risk it? Turns out it probably was the cash.
As for the greater question of his shoulder. It took him six weeks to get it nearly right for Basel, but now it’s inflamed again. And if he couldn’t get back to 100% in six weeks it stands to reason he won’t be ready in 10 days for the London finals.
And with the 2012 season commencing some 5-6 weeks at the end of London, might the shoulder still be ailing at the start of the year?
In tennis, shoulders are not something to take lightly. Ask Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas, Jennifer Capriari and Michael Stich, all of whom had to deal with serious shoulder problems which impacted their careers, even ending them. Let’s hope Novak smartly takes care of his before it’s too late.
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