Novak Djokovic retired at 3-6 in his quarter-final match against no.6 seed Feliciano Lopez at the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday.
“It’s an eye problem,” Djokovic explained. “I have had it ever since I arrived in Dubai. It started with an infection and then severe allergy. 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 ultra-sensitive today. I’m really sad to finish the tournament this way. I apologise to all the people who came to watch the match. I apologise to the tournament director and those who came out to support me. I’m really sad to end out the tournament this way, but I was forced to.”
“I just hope that this problem with the eye will fade away in the next couple of days. I got a lot of important events waiting for me in the next period. Of course Davis Cup back home and Indian Wells, Miami, and of course clay court season.”
“I don’t want to take anything away from his performance tonight. But, you know, it didn’t feel right in any way for me today. I know that already from the very morning today, and the practice session was just awful, as well.
Yeah, I tried. You know, in the end of the day, I tried and I hope that people will recognize that.”
“So, you know, physically I feel fine. Mentally, as well. It’s just something that I hope that is gonna, you know, vanish after several days, but in contrary, it was getting worse. I have to deal with it.”
It is first retirement for Nole since 2011 Davis Cup semi-final match against Del Potro.
“If I had a third eye I would, you know, play the tournament. I’m sorry that I’m talking to you now with my sunglasses at 10:00 p.m. It’s not a usual sight, but that’s what it is and just hoping it’s going to get better.”
source: asapsorts; novakdjokovic.com