Novak Djokovic looking ahead after undergoing knee surgery

Novak Djokovic is hoping to be back on court “as soon as possible” following knee surgery.

The 37-year-old went under the knife on Wednesday after sustaining a tear in the medial meniscus in his right knee during a gruelling fourth-round win over Francisco Cerundolo at the French Open.

Djokovic withdrew from the tournament following a scan, handing Jannik Sinner the world number one ranking from Monday, but gave a positive update on social media on Thursday morning.

Accompanied by a picture of the Serbian on crutches and surrounded by his team, Djokovic wrote: “In the past day, I had to make some tough decisions after sustaining a meniscus tear during my last match.

“I’m still processing it all but I am happy to update you that the surgery went well. I am so appreciative of the team of doctors who have been by my side as well as the overwhelming support I have received from my fans.

“I’m going to do my best to be healthy and fit to return to the court as soon as possible. My love for this sport is strong and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going.”

Novak Djokovic on his knees after slipping at Roland Garros
Novak Djokovic on his knees after slipping at Roland Garros (Christophe Ena/AP)

Djokovic prefers to rely on natural remedies so the fact he took such a quick decision to undergo surgery indicates this summer’s big events are very much on his mind.

Two medical experts consulted by the PA news agency both agreed that Wimbledon, which begins on July 1, will almost certainly come too soon but that Djokovic has a chance of being fit for the Olympics in Paris later next month.

Shaun O’Brien, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and knee specialist, said: “If they just trim back the little bit that’s torn, he’ll be back into light training in about three to four weeks’ time with the hope of maybe getting back to some competitive tennis round about six to eight weeks’ time.”

An Olympic gold medal is the only major tennis honour missing from Djokovic’s CV, while he remains one title away from an all-time record 25th grand slam trophy.