Rafael Nadal has just recovered from his long absence after a persistent left knee injury and now it's Roger Federer who will have to observe eight weeks off due to a back problem. If the equity in misfortune is respected, then world No. 1 Novak Djokovic should soon be on the side-lines too. Why? Some ideas - from the most serious to the most eccentric…
A broken leg:
The Serb was very close earlier this year at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. While he was busy signing autographs after a match, the barrier separating the champion from his fans collapsed. More fear than harm for Nole who ended up with only a few scratches. A somewhat-similar, but much more serious, accident but much more serious had happened to the Argentine footballer Martin Palermo, who ended up on the ground with a double fracture tibia/fibula following the collapse of the stands near to which he was celebrating a goal.
Corneal abrasion or piercing his eye:
Tony Parker found out to his cost that a fight in a nightclub between two rappers can get out of control in a snap and glasses can end up flying. Caught between Chris Brown and Drake on a dance floor in New York, TP ended up with broken glass in his eye and almost missed the Olympics last year. The Serb is never from where the action’s at, so we can easily imagine him celebrating his possible future victory in Miami at the end of the month by visiting one of the many clubs in the city. We shall have to rely on Richard Gasquet to dissuade him…
A sprained ankle:
Drunk, Djoko? Not at all. But after acting the clown and being very imaginative in his entrances - by wearing masks for example, something will eventually happen to him. Celebrating Halloween with a Joker head, as in Basel, for example, is certainly very funny but it also means taking the chance of hitting an obstacle on the way and falling before reaching the chair.
Amputation of the ring finger:
Since 2011, the Serbian champion found the perfect love with his compatriot, and former classmate, Jelena Ristic. To the extent that some media have been announcing an imminent marriage... However, with marriage comes the wedding ring, and a wedding ring spell danger. Just ask Paulo Diogo. In 2004 in Switzerland, the footballer lost two knuckles by catching his wedding ring in the net. Ouch.
A torn shoulder:
On the sidelines of the U.S. Open, in which he lost in the final against Andy Murray, "Nole" treated himself to a little fishing party on a lake not far from the Arthur Ashe Stadium. A moment he claims to have "loved" and shared with his fans via a photo posted on his Facebook page. However, he shouldn't spend too much time on this hobby, because it’s not without its risks. The former England goalkeeper David Seaman was side-lined for a few weeks after tearing a shoulder muscle trying to extract a carp he had caught from the water.
Slicing open his soles:
Djokovic spent his most recent holiday as the guest of the billionaire Richard Branson on a small private island if the British Virgin Islands. A far more dangerous place than it seems, with small shells hidden in the sand that can cut your feet if you walk without solid footwear. It is in this way, by innocently walking on the seafront, that the former Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanisevic scraped his toes, to the point of having to retire in a quarter-final of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas! Too bad.
Like many elite athletes, Novak likes to have fun by playing the little white ball. During the last edition of Wimbledon, he even entertained the crowd - once more - by pulling out of his bag not a racket but ... a golf club. Conversely, we saw him, racquet in hand, on a golf green with Maria Sharapova, for the purposes of a commercial video. Don’t underestimate the demands of this sport, which can be a source of regular backache to its practitioners. More unusually, the American hockey player Erik Johnson got his foot wedged between the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal of a golf cart in September 2008. Looking to release it too quickly, he tore the ligaments in his right knee, leaving him on the physio’s bench for the rest of the season! We have a winner in our hit parade of the most stupid injuries.
By Régis Delanoë