Novak Djokovic's US Open ended Sunday night after retiring in his match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.
The tournament's defending champion suffered a left shoulder injury during the third set of his fourth-round in which gave Wawrinka an upset win over the no. 1 player in the world.
The No. 23 seed Wawrinka grabbed an early lead when Djokovic called the match. He won the first set 6-4 and the second set 7-5 and was up 2-1 early in the third.
That's when Djokovic approached the net apparently ready to be done.
Sensing the end
"I just came off the court, so of course it hurts.” Djokovic said.
He expressed his frustrations in an interview with the New York Times as he was forced to retire from one of the biggest tennis events of the year.
Djokovic's retirement was met with mixed reactions from the crowd. A chorus of applause and boos were heard through the stadium as he walked off the court. He managed to gave a thumbs up to the crowd before he entered the tunnel.
When asked about the crowd's reaction, Djokovic said that "I’m not being offended by, you know, mistreated by anybody.”
“I don’t really pay too much attention on that. You know, I like to respect others. I hope that others can respect me and my decision," he added.
Djokovic fought as much as he couldDjokovic has been battling through pain in his left shoulder the entire US Open. The pain was already lingering during the first three rounds in the tournament. It was more evident in his second-round match with Juan Ignacio Londero.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner tried to fight through the injury but it was starting to be unmanageable. He had 35 unforced errors which played a role in his decision not to continue.
Wawrinka put on a good performance regardless
Wawrinka's performance shouldn't be downplayed by his counterpart's injury. He won 84 percent of his points on the first serve and broke Djokovic’s serve four times in the match.
Sunday's game marked the first time Djokovic has been eliminated before the semifinal round of the US Open since 2006. He won 36 of his past 37 Grand Slam matches and four of the last five major titles soon after that.
“It’s never the way you want to finish a match,” Wawrinka said on the court after the win. “I’m really sorry for Novak. He’s a good friend, an amazing champion.”
Wawrinka's next match is against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.
What's next for Novak Djokovic? Will Wawrinka prove that the upset wasn't a fluke despite Djokovic's injury? Tell us your picks to win the US Open in the comments section below.