LONDON • Novak Djokovic admits a long break is on the cards after an elbow injury forced him to retire during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych.
His miserable 12 months hit a fresh low on Wednesday when a right elbow problem curtailed his bid to win a fourth Wimbledon title.
The Serb was trailing 7-6 (7-2), 2-0 and felt he had no option but to quit as the pain from the long-term injury began to increase.
"There is a possibility that they will propose surgery, but I don't think that is good," Djokovic said.
"To go be cut in surgery or to poison myself with pills... none of the solutions are good.
"A logical solution is a rest and a longer break. Maybe a longer rest is necessary, not only because of the injury but for my mind as well."
The 30-year-old, who has also struggled with a shoulder issue, spoke to medical experts about the elbow problem before Wimbledon and was told surgery was an option.
"The specialists that I've talked with, they haven't been really too clear, mentioning also surgery, mentioning different options," the world No. 4 said.
"Nobody was very clear in what needs to be done. As long as it kind of comes and goes, it's fine.
"But obviously, adding up, maybe it worked for seven, eight, ten months, but now the next seven months is not working that great.
"The more I play, the worse it gets. Yeah, I guess the break is something that I will have to consider right now."
With the US Open just six weeks away at the culmination of the American hard-court swing, he does not have long to return to full fitness. It is a similar situation for world No. 1 Andy Murray, who refused to blame his long-standing hip problem for his five-set loss to Sam Querrey on Wednesday, but also admitted that taking a break was not out of the question.
The defending champion slumped to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-1 quarter-final defeat against the 28th-ranked American on a shell-shocked Centre Court.
Murray had arrived at the All England Club feeling the effects of his right hip problem. The toll of playing five matches caught up with him as he limped to his second loss in eight meetings with Querrey.
"I'm not going to go into all the details of exactly what my hip issues are," said the 30-year-old. "Obviously as you get older, there's a bit more wear and tear there."
The Scot added that he will seek out the best advice over his injury.
"If it means taking a few weeks' rest, then so be it," he said. "If it means training and doing the right rehab and stuff, then I'll do that."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS