Novak Djokovic retires from Dubai quarter-final due to eye problem

Novak Djokovic was forced to retire from his Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-final against Feliciano Lopez

Marianne Bevis
By    
novak djokovic
Novak Djokovic pulled out of his quarter-final clash Photo: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

World No1 and four-time Dubai champion Novak Djokovic was forced to retire from his quarter-final against Feliciano Lopez with an eye infection after losing the first set, 6-3, on Thursday evening.

The oldest man in the draw, 34-year-old Lopez, who was a Dubai finalist in 2004 and 2008, led Djokovic 2-0 and 40-0 on the Serb’s serve, and although the top seed rallied to win that game, he called for the doctor.

It became clear that he had an eye problem, and although Djokovic continued to play the rest of the set, he shook hands with his opponent after being broken for the opening set.

He afterwards explained: “It’s an eye problem. I have had it ever since I arrived in Dubai. Started with an infection and then severe allergy. That’s what I was told. It’s gotten worse in the last two days, unfortunately.

“It’s the first time that I have had such a problem with the eye. It was unfortunate. It was ultra sensitive today, the lights, and just wasn’t to be.

“I’m really sad to finish the tournament this way. I apologise of course. I apologise to all the people who came in to watch the match. I apologise to the tournament director and everybody who came out to support me. You know, I’m really sad to end out the tournament this way, but I was forced to.”

Lopez was also disappointed: “It’s very sad when you play against one of the best players in the history of the sport and he has to retire the way he did. He told me he had an infection in the eyes since a few days already. I had no idea and I just went on court without knowing about his illness.

“I felt that he was taking risks a little bit more than normal in some of the points that we played, especially when I made the break. Then he was trying to be more aggressive. Seems like he was not taking care of his shots sometimes… So that’s why I kind of realised that something was going on.

Lopez will now play Marcos Baghdatis for a place in the final.

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych join forces in Prague to launch first Laver Cup
Dubai Duty Free WTA preview
The Sport Review
Dubai Duty Free WTA preview: Kerber eyes No1, but Konta joins injury withdrawals
Slideshow
The Sport Review
10 players Man United could sign in the summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd stars feature
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: Meet the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife Larissa Pereira
The Sport Review
Dele Alli: 15 photos of Tottenham midfielder’s stunning girlfriend Ruby Mae
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Chelsea WAGs: Meet David Luiz, Oscar and Willian’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho makes admission about Chelsea
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes reacts to Chelsea v Man United in FA Cup quarter-final draw
The Sport Review
Rotterdam 2017: Lucky 13 for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, unlucky sixth for David Goffin