John McEnroe unloads on French Open after Novak Djokovic's injury and surgery

McEnroe had some strong words for the French Open after the Djokovic situation.

by Dzevad Mesic
John McEnroe unloads on French Open after Novak Djokovic's injury and surgery
© Getty Images Sport - Ronald Martinez

John McEnroe unloaded on the French Open after the Novak Djokovic knee surgery news as the American tennis icon says the Serb's injury must be a wake-up call for all Grand Slams because something like this simply can't happen again. 

On Saturday, Djokovic started his French Open third-round match at 22:30 PM because the tournament organizers decided to reschedule Grigor Dimitrov's match and put it on the court where the Serb was scheduled to play. But when Djokovic finally got to the court, it was already very late and he didn't finish his match against Musetti until 03:08 AM on Sunday morning. 

When Djokovic returned to the court on Monday, he started feeling his right knee and he looked limited in his movement and what he was able to do. Later in the match against Francisco Cerundolo, Djokovic complained that the court surface wasn't in the best condition and he wanted it swept. But the chair umpire and supervisor didn't grant his request - and the Serb wasn't thrilled with that all. 

Still, Djokovic managed to play out the entire match with the help of painkillers and win in five sets. But after the match, the Serb indicated that he may have sustained a serious injury and that he wouldn't be able to play against Casper Ruud - and exactly that was the case as the next day the Serb withdrew after an MRI showed that he sustained a meniscus tear in his right knee. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

And after the injury diagnosis, Djokovic didn't want to wait for anything and he had a knee procedure in Paris.

McEnroe blasts the French Open organizers

After Djokovic's French Open run ended in an unfortunate way and his Wimbledon campaign is in big jeopardy, McEnroe didn't mince words for the French Open. 

"It was horrible, it was a joke. It's a black eye for our sport. It doesn't shine too good a light on the schedule, which was a joke that they put him out at 10.30pm on Saturday. He'd talked about the knee issue before the tournament. That couldn't have helped. And it goes to three in the morning -- absurd!" McEnroe told Le Figaro.

"If this doesn't change the mentality of the Majors about this type of scheduling, I don't know what will. He's the No.1 player in the world. An all-time great, maybe the greatest. He got hurt and that contributed to it. Having to play to three in the morning, you cannot say that didn't have an effect on his body, his system, his recovery. What time did he go to bed? 7 AM? How much sleep did he get? It's not good for our sport. That's a bad look. Does LeBron James play in the NBA Finals at three in the morning? It's absurd.

"There was a lot of rain and they were trying to catch up but they didn't need to play Grigor Dimitrov's match before Djokovic's. I don't know what they were thinking.

"I don't know why they'll listen to me now -- they haven't listened for the past 45 years! What I say is what I believe is best for the sport. This needs to change.

"I hope the players get a fifteenth more money out of the overall package. They should be partners with the Majors. Not hired guns. Start the nght matches earlier. Start at 7 PM. Too often, ultimately in my opinion, tennis shoots itself in the foot."

John McEnroe
John McEnroe © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Djokovic's message from Thursday

After it was reported on Wednesday that Djokovic had a successful knee surgery and that he may need just three weeks to recover, Djokovic made an announcement on Thursday, in which he confirmed that he indeed decided to surgically address his injury. 

In his message, Djokovic acknowledged deciding to have a surgery at this part of the year wasn't an easy decision but something he felt he needed to make when thinking long-term. 

"In the past day, I had to make some tough decisions after sustaining a meniscus tear during my last match. I’m still processing it all but I am happy to update you that the surgery went well," Djokovic announced on Instagram.

"I am so appreciative of the team of doctors who have been by my side, as well as the overwhelming support I have received from my fans.

"I’m going to do my best to be healthy and fit to return to the court as soon as possible.

"My love for this sport is strong and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Even if Djokovic recovers in three weeks, his Wimbledon participation will still be a jeopardy since The Championships starts on July 1st. But if Djokovic recovers that early, his participation at the Paris Olympics - which starts on July 26th - seem likely.

John Mcenroe French Open Novak Djokovic