Novak Djokovic pulls out of French Open with knee injury as Jannik Sinner becomes new No.1

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open with a knee injury, ensuring that Jannik Sinner will become the new men’s world No.1 and a new Roland Garros champion will be crowned in Paris.

Djokovic aggravated a right knee problem during his five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo, which was reported less than 24 hours later on Tuesday to be a torn medial meniscus.

“I am really sad to announce that I have to withdraw from #rolandgarros,” Djokovic posted on social media.

“I played with my heart and gave my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately, due to a medial meniscus tear in my right knee, my team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation.”

The withdrawal of the three-time champ means that Australian star Alex de Minaur, the 11th seed, would play Norwegian seventh seed Casper Ruud in Friday’s semi-finals should he beat Alexander Zverev in his quarter-final on Wednesday.

Ruud, the two-time finalist, gets a bye through to the last-four in Djokovic’s absence.

Australian Open champion Sinner, just 22, will become the first Italian world No.1 when the new rankings are unveiled next week.

After beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the semi-finals on Tuesday, Sinner had the news of his elevation to world No.1 broken to him on court by former French star Fabrice Santoro amid a standing ovation on Court Philippe Chatrier.

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