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 Marianne Bevis   
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
Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic breaks silence with message to Man United fans
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
20 Chelsea transfer targets Antonio Conte could sign in the summer
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool stars among 16 players out of contract in 2018
The Sport Review
Monte-Carlo Masters 2017: History man Rafael Nadal makes it 10 in Monaco and 50 on clay
The Sport Review
Photo: Frank Lampard shows his love for Chelsea with brilliant FA Cup celebration
The Sport Review
Gary Neville reacts to Anthony Martial’s display in Man United’s 2-0 win at Burnley