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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Djokovic to miss rest of 2017 season

Jul 28, 2017

Novak Djokovic announced Wednesday he will miss the rest of the 2017 season to recover from a right elbow injury.

The Serbian, a 12-time Grand Slam champion and ranked No. 4 in the world, admitted after he was forced to retire during his Wimbledon quarterfinal loss two weeks ago that he had been feeling pain in his elbow for the past 18 months.

Djokovic, 30, posted a video statement on Facebook and his website shortly before a news conference at which he explained his decision in more detail.

“I’ve made a decision to not play any competitions or tournaments for the rest of the 2017 season,” Djokovic said in the Facebook Live broadcast. “It’s a decision that had to be made.

“My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when hitting my forehand as well. Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years.

“All the doctors I’ve consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest. A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable. I’ll do whatever it takes to recover. I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule. Five months may seem long from this point, but I’m sure they will pass quickly because there is so much I want to do.

“Another important moment is coming, we will become parents for a second time. My wife, Jelena, and I are expecting our second child, and we are preparing to welcome a new family member. These are things that fill me with greatest happiness and delight. I’m confident I will be ready for start of the new season.”

--Top-seeded Belgian David Goffin rebounded from dropping the first set and fended off four match points to upend Moldova’s Radu Albot, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7) in their second-round match at the Safra Sarasin Swiss Open in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Goffin, who advanced to the tournament final in 2015, trailed 3-6 in the third-set tiebreak before reeling off three consecutive points. Albot answered to regain the advantage, but Goffin rolled off three straight points to end the match.

Goffin saved 14 of 17 break points to dispatch Albot and advance to face Robin Haase, who lost in the tournament final in both 2013 and 2016. The sixth-seeded Dutchman put his best foot forward on Wednesday by outlasting Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro en route to posting a 7-5, 7-5 victory.

Second-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut dropped just nine service points to record a 6-4, 6-3 win over French qualifier Gleb Sakharov. Bautista Agut won his match in 84 minutes to set up a match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who benefited from 11 aces in a convincing 6-3, 6-1 triumph over German Dustin Brown.

--Fernando Verdasco was saddled with his third straight first-round loss in Hamburg, Germany, as the seventh-seeded Spaniard fell victim to Czech Jiri Vesely at the German Tennis Championships.

Vesely recorded a 7-6 (7), 6-7 (0), 6-3 win over Verdasco in a match that lasted two hours, 45 minutes. The encounter continued at the start of the third set after rain halted play Tuesday.

Verdasco’s run of luck hasn’t been good at Hamburg since advancing to the semifinals of the tournament in 2011.

Vesely advances to face Argentine Horacio Zeballos, who outlasted German Daniel Altmaier, 7-6 (2), 6-4, in Monday’s opening-round match.

--Third-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia played nearly flawless tennis en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Italian Sara Errani in their second-round match at the Ericsson Open in Bastad, Sweden.

The 54-minute match was a decidedly different affair than Tuesday’s encounter against Irina-Camelia Begu. Garcia needed to overcome dropping the first set to dispatch Begu 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in a tense first-round match.

“It was definitely a good match, very different from yesterday -- her game suits me a little bit better than the game of Begu,” Garcia said. “But it’s always been a battle in the past against Sara, so I’m very happy with the way I played today.

“I had good timing and everything was going well. I’m happy it was fast.”


United States swimmer Katie Ledecky’s bid for a sixth gold medal at the world championships fell short by 0.45 seconds in the 200-meter freestyle in Budapest, Hungary.

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini took gold with a time of 1 minute, 54.73 seconds and Ledecky tied for second with Australian Emma McKeon in 1:55.18.

“I just didn’t feel really like myself in the middle of the race,” Ledecky said afterward.

Pellegrini is the world record-holder in the 200 free but lost to Ledecky two years ago in Russia.


--The Milwaukee Brewers acquired right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Ryan Cordell, the teams announced.

Swarzak, 31, was 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA, one save and 10 holds over 48 1/3 innings in 41 appearances for the White Sox this season. He held opponents to a .216 batting average and posted a 0.56 ERA over his last 14 outings.

Swarzak owns a career record of 21-29 with a 4.31 ERA and one save in 258 appearances, including 32 starts, for Minnesota (2009, 2011-14), Cleveland (2015), the New York Yankees (2016) and White Sox. (2017). He was originally selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2004 draft.

Cordell, 25, batted .284 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 68 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. He has been on the seven-day disabled list since June 30 (retroactive to June 27) with a strained back.


--The Phoenix Suns re-signed forward/center Alan Williams to a multiyear contract, the team announced.

Media outlets reported a couple of weeks ago that the Phoenix native agreed to terms on a three-year, $17 million deal to stay with the Suns.

“Alan embodies what it means to be a Phoenix Sun on and off of the court,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said in a statement. “We’ve enjoyed watching him become a very valuable part of our team over the past few years. We’re excited that we were able to reach a deal to keep a native Phoenician home, where we know ‘Sauce’ will continue to make a significant impact, both on the court and in the community.”

Williams, the Suns’ 2016-17 Majerle Hustle Award winner, averaged 11.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting along with 9.1 rebounds with 12 double-doubles in 24 games after the All-Star break last season. He led the Suns with 15 double-doubles overall and ranked third in the NBA with 15 double-doubles off the bench.

--The Los Angeles Lakers re-signed point guard Tyler Ennis, the team announced.

Terms were not released, but the Los Angeles Times reported Ennis agreed to a minimum deal for one year with a team option in the second year.

Ennis, 22, will back up rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

Ennis appeared in 22 games (two starts) for the Lakers last season, averaging 7.7 points, 2.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per contest. In seven games (two starts) in April, he scored in double-figures four times, averaging 11.3 points, 3.6 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 27.7 minutes.


--Rising star Ryan Blaney will race for Team Penske in the Monster Energy NASCAR Series in 2018.

Blaney is completing his third season with Wood Brothers Racing, a strategic partner of the Penske team, and will drive the No. 12 Ford Fusion.

As part of the adjustment, Paul Menard replaces Blaney in the Wood Brothers stable.

“For some time now, we have wanted to bring Ryan in to run a third car for us, but things just needed to make sense from a timing and business perspective,” team owner Roger Penske said Wednesday. “We have been working on making this a reality, and 2018 is the right opportunity to make this move and return our organization to a three-car team. Having a company like Menards, and a businessman like John Menard, be a part of this transition is also fantastic for our organization. The benefits of having three full-time teams under our roof, along with the continued technical partnership with the Wood Bothers, will help us remain competitive in the ever-changing NASCAR landscape.”


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