World number two Novak Djokovic will miss next week's Monte Carlo Masters with a knee injury and with it an opportunity to close the gap on Rafael Nadal in the rankings.

The in-form Serbian has been on an exquisite run of form with 24 consecutive victories this year. After beating Nadal in both the finals of both Indian Wells and the Sony Ericcson Open, the Serb was touted to challenge Nadal for the top spot in the rankings. However, this injury comes as a distraction and it remains to be seen whether he can maintain the same form on his return.

It also sees him miss out on the opportunity to test his form on clay.

He said, It's a tough blow and sad news not only for the tournament and my fans but also for myself.

Djokovic, on his Twitter account, expressed hope that he could start practicing next week, though he didn't confirm the extent of the injury.

So, it was definitely difficult decision but I had to prioritise my health, he said on Twitter. Now moving on. I will be here in Monaco during the event. Will start practising during the next week, I hope.

Djokovic's injury gives Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray an easier go at the Monte Carlo title.