As if there weren’t enough injuries already in tennis right now, an illness will force one of the sport’s most durable players off the tour for a while.
Tomas Berdych announced on Saturday that a case of appendicitis will keep him out of the U.S. Open, with a return date obviously unknowable at this point:
Berdych, who turns 31 next month, has been a rock solid — if underwhelming — member of the ATP’s second tier for a full decade now. A sign of both is that he holds the record for most losses to top-10 players — he often gets to those matches, but rarely wins them.
With his absence, another impressive longevity streak of consecutive Slams played will end, joining David Ferrer (whose streak ended at 50 after missing Wimbledon last year) and Roger Federer (whose record-long streak was snapped at 65 due to missing this year’s French Open; he will miss the U.S. Open as well).
Berdych’s streak of 52 sits at sixth-longest in the Open Era, though a few players could pass him in the near future. Perhaps even more impressively, Berdych has played 64 of the last 65 Masters 1000 events, with the only absence in that stretch coming back in 2010 at Madrid.
The Czech still resides in the top 10 of both the 52 week rankings and the year-to-date rankings, but this will dent his chances of finishing in the top eight to notch a seventh straight appearance at the World Tour Finals. Berdych has finished either sixth or seventh in all six of those seasons.
A 2012 semifinalist at the U.S. Open, Berdych will drop 180 points from his fourth round result in Flushing Meadows last year and could lose similar amounts from the tournaments that follow.
It’s a tough break not only for Berdych, but for Goran Ivanisevic, who had just signed on to become Berdych’s new coach.
Appendicitis also knocked Rafael Nadal off the tour around this time in 2014. Following a return from a wrist injury, Nadal attempted to play the fall season with the appendicitis, but played poorly and took a couple early losses before waiving the white flag on the remainder of the year.
In the event Berdych is done for the season, he’ll likely finish in the 12-14 range in the rankings.