World number one Novak Djokovic is hopeful that the eye infection that forced him to retire from the Dubai Duty Free Championships is not a serious one.
Djokovic retired from his quarter-final clash with Feliciano Lopez on Thursday after losing the opening set 6-3, having called for the trainer after falling 0-3 behind.
The withdrawal ends an incredible run of 17 successive final appearances, but that was the last thing on the 28-year-old’s mind after the match.
“I have had it ever since I arrived in Dubai,” Djokovic told the official ATP website. “It started with an infection and then severe allergy.
“It’s gotten worse in the last two days, unfortunately. It’s the first time that I have had such a problem with the eye. It was ultra-sensitive today.
“[My match record] is the least of my thoughts in the moment. I just hope that this problem will fade away in the next couple of days.
“I’m really sad to finish the tournament this way. I apologise to all the people who came to watch the match. I apologise to the tournament director and those who came out to support me. I’m really sad to end out the tournament this way, but I was forced to.”