NOVAK Djokovic was forced to retire from his Dubai Tennis Championships quarter-final against Feliciano Lopez, on Thursday, February 25.
Djokovic, world number one, suffered from an eye problem and had to quit after losing the first set 6-3.
A day on from his 700th career win, the Serbian’s run of making 17 successive tour finals came to an end after making 18 unforced errors in only nine games against the sixth seed.
“It started with an infection and then severe allergy,” Djokovic said.
“I have had it ever since I arrived in Dubai. 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.”
Spaniard Lopez will now face Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the semi-finals.
Djokovic, 28, an 11-time major champion, has won the Dubai Championship four times previously.
Lopez said: “It’s very sad when one of the greatest players ever has to retire from a match like that”
— Mar 7, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT