Djokovic attempted to play through back pain Sunday in the Davis Cup semifinals but retired from the match in the second set, sending Argentina into the Davis Cup final.
“(It’s) not as serious as we have thought,” Djokovic said. “It’s a partial rupture of a back muscle that deserves rest.”
Djokovic skipped the opening singles on Friday because of lingering back problems following his victory over Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open final. But after losing the opening set 7-6 (5) against Del Potro, Djokovic fell to the floor with back pain during the final point of third game of the second.
Djokovic said he may have to skip his next scheduled tournaments in China, the Shanghai Rolex Masters and the China Open in Beijing, early next month.
“I hope I will recover by then,” Djokovic said. “Anyway, I won’t risk the worsening of the injury and that’s why it is hard to predict for how long I will rest.”
Djokovic said he has never had this kind of back problem.
“I carried the injury since the U.S. Open,” Djokovic said. “It gradually got worse through the tournament, and I felt sharp pain in the finals” against Nadal.
“Luckily for me, I managed to hold on and to survive that fourth set and win the tournament,” Djokovic said. “I came here quite late, and I could not get ready.”
Djokovic, who is now 64-3 this year, beat Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 in the U.S. Open final for his sixth consecutive win over the Spaniard, including the Wimbledon final.
Djokovic is reportedly planning to get married to longtime girlfriend Jelena Ristic during the break.