Novak Djokovic French Open Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open with a knee injury suffered during his last-16 win. Image: JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

BREAKING: Novak Djokovic withdraws from French Open

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open with a knee injury suffered during his last-16 win. Sad news …

Novak Djokovic French Open Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open with a knee injury suffered during his last-16 win. Image: JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Novak Djokovic withdrew from the French Open ahead of his quarter-final against Casper Ruud due to a knee injury suffered in the previous round, tournament organisers announced on Tuesday.

“Due to a torn medial meniscus in his right knee (discovered during an MRI scan performed today), Novak Djokovic… has been forced to withdraw from the Roland Garros tournament,” organisers said in a statement.

Novak Djokovic needed anti-inflammatory drugs

World number one and 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was due to play Ruud on Wednesday for a place in the last four.

Djokovic defeated Ruud in last year’s final at Roland Garros.

The 37-year-old Djokovic had cast doubt over his fitness following Monday’s five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo, admitting he needed anti-inflammatory drugs to get through the match.

Djokovic blamed the “slippery” Philippe Chatrier court for the injury he sustained early in the second set of his 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Cerundolo.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or after tomorrow if I’ll be able to step out on the court and play. You know, I hope so. Let’s see what happens,” Djokovic said after the match.

New world No 1

As a result, Jannik Sinner will become Italy’s first men’s tennis world number one after Djokovic’s injury-enforced withdrawal.

The Australian Open champion was on court playing his quarter-final against Grigor Dimitrov when Djokovic’s withdrawal was announced, meaning Sinner will replace the 24-time Grand Slam champion at the top of the ATP rankings next week.

Sinner already knew that he could secure number one by reaching the final at Roland Garros, but his landmark achievement was secured earlier than expected.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a fine season, also winning the Rotterdam and Miami Opens in addition to his maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne.