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Djokovic considers break after painful 18 months

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts as he retires from his quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych with an injury REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic is considering taking a break from competitive tennis to recover after a long-standing elbow injury forced him out of Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The three-times champion retired hurt from his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych after he had lost the opening set and was down a break in the second.

The 30-year-old Serb said his right elbow had been bothering him off-and-for over a year and a half. The injury has coincided with a slump in form during which the former world number one surrendered his Australian and French Open titles this year and slipped to fourth in the world rankings.

“The specialists that I’ve talked with haven’t been really too clear, mentioning also surgery, mentioning different options,” Djokovic said.

“Nobody was very clear in what needs to be done. I guess the break is something that I will have to consider right now,” he added. “The more I play, the worse it gets.”

Djokovic remained philosophical.

“It’s just unfortunate - but in life, these particular things happen for a reason. It takes some time and obviously thinking to understand why this happened and to obviously learn from it,” he said.

“At the end of the day, this is something I have to deal with and accept.”

Reporting by Pravin Char, editing by Ed Osmond