Djokovic to end 2017 season due to elbow

FILE - This is a Wednesday, July 12, 2017 file photo of Serbia's Novak Djokovic as he gestures during a press conference after losing his Men's Singles Quarterfinal Match against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych on day nine at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of this season because of an injured right elbow. The 12-time major champion will skip the U.S. Open. That ends his streak of playing in 51 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. (AELTC, Joe Toth/File via AP)

(AP) -- For more than a year, Novak Djokovic's right elbow hurt when he hit serves or forehands. The pain kept getting worse, and now he's going to give his arm a chance to heal by sitting out the rest of 2017.

Djokovic will miss the U.S. Open, ending his streak of participating in 51 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, and aims to return to the ATP tour in January. He made the announcement Wednesday - exactly a year to the day after Roger Federer said he would be sidelined for the second half of last season.

"This is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly. You just have to allow natural rehabilitation to take its course," Djokovic said. "Professionally, this is not, obviously, an easy decision for me."

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2017 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 A. Murray 7,750
2 R. Nadal 7,465
3 R. Federer 6,545
4 N. Djokovic 6,325
5 S. Wawrinka 6,140
6 M. Cilic 5,075
7 D. Thiem 4,030
8 K. Nishikori 3,740
9 M. Raonic 3,310
10 G. Dimitrov 3,160
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2017 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 K. Pliskova 6,855
2 S. Halep 6,670
3 A. Kerber 5,975
4 G. Muguruza 4,990
5 E. Svitolina 4,935
6 C. Wozniacki 4,780
7 J. Konta 4,750
8 S. Kuznetsova 4,500
9 V. Williams 4,157
10 A. Radwanska 3,985
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