, Frightening French Open image scares tennis, The Nzuchi Times

Frightening French Open image scares tennis

, Frightening French Open image scares tennis, The Nzuchi Times

Taylor Fritz has provided an injury update after worried fans watched him taken off the court in a wheelchair at Roland Garros.

The American lost to Dominik Koepfer in the second round of the French Open and was in a bad way thanks to a knee injury suffered on the very last point of the match.

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Fritz released a statement on social media revealing he’d torn his meniscus and requires surgery but remarkably, hasn’t given up on being fit for Wimbledon, which kicks off at the end of June.

“I had really high hopes for @rolandgarros this year, so it’s tough to go out in the 2nd round … even tougher to have to leave the court in a wheelchair,” Fritz wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you to everyone for all the kind words and sympathy I’ve received since coming off the court, sorry to worry you all. On match point when I came down from hitting a forehand, I heard a pop in my knee.

“When re-watching the videos, everything about my movements looked completely normal but after that pop I couldn’t move and could barely limp myself to the net to shake hands. After sitting down, I wasn’t able to stand up to leave the court. I definitely didn’t want to make a scene by getting wheeled off the court but there wasn’t much else I could do.

“I got it scanned and reviewed, and the bad news is that I tore my meniscus and need surgery. The good news is that the surgery is very quick and easy, and I can make a full recovery quickly if all goes well.

“I’m hoping to be fully ready to go for @wimbledon. Based off of how bad I initially felt, I’m glad that I will most likely only miss 3 weeks on tour and be back to 100 per cent for the US hardcourt swing.”

Big Three all fighting for same prize

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are targeting the French Open last 16 but standing in their way is a spearfishing fan and a would-be real estate agent.

World No. 1 Djokovic, the champion in Paris in 2016 and chasing a 19th Grand Slam title, faces 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis. Djokovic defeated the 30-year-old Berankis at last year’s tournament.

, Frightening French Open image scares tennis, The Nzuchi Times

When his opponent isn’t revelling in the delights of being Lithuania’s only player in the top 400, he unwinds by spearfishing in the waters of the Baltic nation.

Djokovic, bidding to be the first man in more than half a century to win all four majors on multiple occasions, can reach the last 16 for a 12th consecutive year with victory over the sea-loving Lithuanian.

The top seed has made the third round without problems, enjoying comfortable straight set wins in the first two rounds.

Nadal, seeded third this year and chasing a 14th French Open and record 21st Grand Slam, faces fellow left-hander Cameron Norrie.

The Johannesburg-born Briton claims that had he not made a living from tennis he would have been a real estate agent. The 25-year-old, ranked 40, is enjoying a breakout season on clay, reaching the finals in Estoril and Lyon.

He has played Nadal twice already this season, losing at the Australian Open and Barcelona on clay where the Spaniard won in straight sets for the loss of just five games.

“I’ve learned that he’s actually a human being,” said Norrie. “But it can be absolute carnage going into his forehand.”

Nadal made the third round with a 17th win in 17 meetings with childhood rival Richard Gasquet.

Roger Federer, locked on 20 majors with Nadal, is aiming to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the 68th time.

The 39-year-old Federer, who won his only French Open title in 2009, tackles Germany’s 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer in the evening session.

Djokovic and Federer are seeded to meet in the quarter-finals. Wins on Saturday for the pair will bring that match-up one round closer.

With AFP

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