Djokovic re­tires in Dubai

Business Mirror - - SPORTS -

DUBAI, United Arab Emi­rates—Top-ranked No­vak Djokovic re­tired dur­ing his quar­ter­fi­nal in the Dubai Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships with an in­fec­tion in both eyes on Thurs­day, end­ing his global run of 17 con­sec­u­tive fi­nal ap­pear­ances.

“It’s an eye prob­lem,” Djokovic, wear­ing dark sun­glasses, said at his post­match news con­fer­ence. “I have had it ever since I ar­rived to Dubai. Started with an in­fec­tion, and then se­vere al­lergy.”

Djokovic said the in­fec­tion started in his right eye but then pre­sented in both eyes. He was in­structed not to wear his con­tact lenses, ex­cept dur­ing matches, be­cause it ag­gra­vates the con­di­tion.

“It’s got­ten worse the last two days, un­for­tu­nately,” he added. “It’s the first time that I have had such a prob­lem with the eye. It was ul­tra­sen­si­tive to­day, the lights, and just wasn’t to be.”

The re­tire­ment ended Djokovic’s run of 17 straight fi­nals dat­ing to the 2015 Aus­tralian Open. He had won 13 of those fi­nals, in­clud­ing the last seven since the US Open in Septem­ber. He was one fi­nal away from ty­ing Ivan Lendl’s Open era record of 18 straight in 1981 and 1982. But he wasn’t wor­ried about his streak end­ing.

The last time Djokovic re­tired from a match was against Juan Martin del Potro of Ar­gentina in a Davis Cup semi­fi­nal in 2011. He’s played 350 matches since then for a 312-38 win-loss record.

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