During the US Open 2019, World Number 1, Novak Djokovic withdrew in the Round of 16 match against Stan Wawrinka. However, the seeds of defeat were planted long before he faced off against the Swiss player. Apparently, when he played against Denis Kudla, the shoulder issue flared up, though he downplayed it.
Djokovic tried to assuage fears, saying, “The season is not over, of course it’s over for the Grand Slams, and we’ll see, you know, there are still plenty of big tournaments (before the end of the season).”
Then, American journalist Christopher Clarey tweeted that Djokovic could require surgery to fix the issue. He said, that the Serbian could “not play for a long time if he is operated on, or his injury requires rest”
Admittedly, this is all still speculation, considering that Novak Djokovic himself has remained coy on the situation.
Currently in the ATP rankings, Novak Djokovic is on 9865 points and Rafael Nadal is 640 points adrift. If Djokovic plays the surgery card as a last resort, he could be out for the rest of the 2019 season. It is worth noting that Rafael Nadal will miss the month of October, owing to his wedding, so Djokovic may be a bit safe on that front
However, Djokovic could be out for even longer and potentially miss at least five tournaments. Among them are, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, the ATP Tour Finals and Paris. The Paris Masters, Shanghai Masters both offer 1000 points each. Meanwhile the Beijing Open and the Japan Open offer 500 points each and the World Tour Finals offers around 1500 points. In other words, that is a total of almost 4500 points lost.
The good news is that, with Nadal out of action for October, the two have a healthy buffer to Roger Federer on 7130 points.
It has been reported that the Serbian champion is off to Switzerland for a check-up, which could require a longer treatment, a small operation as the worst case scenario.