Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will not play again in 2017 due to a persistent elbow injury, he has announced.
Djokovic, 30, announced the news on his Facebook page on Wednesday, before holding a press conference.
The Serbian world number four was forced to retire from the Wimbledon quarterfinals earlier in July, and now says he needs time to rest and recover fully.
“Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain,” Djokovic said in the announcement.
He said it was “not an easy decision” to take the break, but that he would also “use the time as best I can to spend quality time with my family,” noting that he and his wife Jelena were expecting their second child in around a month’s time.
He also confirmed that American coach Andre Agassi would remain on his team in 2018.
Former world number one Djokovic has won 12 Grand Slams in his career, including six Australian Open titles, three Wimbledon titles, two US Opens and one French Open title.
His last ATP Tour title came in July at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, UK, his 68th in total.
He will miss this year’s US Open at Flushing Meadows at the end of August and beginning of September, but could be back in time for the Australian Open in January 2018. Such an extended break would be “a new experience,” Djokovic said, but added that he hoped it would allow him to “build the foundation for the next five years to come” in terms of his career.