Created on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 Written by HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
Saying his right wrist is not as badly hurt as he feared, Novak Djokovic plans to be back on the tennis tour in two weeks — and at the French Open later next month.
The right-handed Djokovic said in a statement Tuesday he's been "assured" by doctors that he will be ready for upcoming clay-court tournaments, starting with the Madrid Masters on May 5. He would head to Rome the following week, and then to Paris, where play in the year's second Grand Slam tournament begins May 25.
"Fortunately, the situation with the injury is better than it first seemed," said Djokovic, who is No. 2, behind Rafael Nadal, in the ATP rankings.
Djokovic has won six major singles championships and needs a French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. He lost to eight-time champion Nadal at Roland Garros in the 2013 semifinals and the 2012 final.
Djokovic complained about pain in his right wrist last week while playing as the defending champion at the Monte Carlo Masters, and he wondered aloud whether he might have trained too hard on clay right after switching from hard courts, where he won Masters titles at Miami and Indian Wells.
He wore a thick white bandage on his wrist while losing 7-5, 6-2 to Roger Federer on Saturday in the semifinals at Monte Carlo. After that match, Djokovic said he knew he did not need surgery but that he was going to have an MRI exam and get checked by doctors to see where things stood with the injury.
On Tuesday, Djokovic said he'll "need to continue with the recovery process and full medical treatments." He also said he "will have to take a short break in order to recover as soon as possible."
The European clay circuit has events in Spain and Romania this week, and in Portugal and Germany next week.