The world no. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next month’s Indian Wells tournament next week following a supposed record-setting campaign that ended in a devastating loss in the U.S. Open. The 20-time major winner is a five-time BNP Paribas Open champion, lifting the trophy at the ATP Masters 1000 event — where he has tallied a 50-9 record — in 2016. Follow us for more OBN Tennis.
“I am sorry I won’t get to see my fans in Indian Wells and play in the desert, my favorite place to go. I hope to see you next year!,” Djokovic said in a statement. Tournament director Tommy Haas added: “We are disappointed that Novak will not be able to join us at the BNP Paribas Open this fall. We hope to see him back in Tennis Paradise next March to contend for a record-setting sixth title in the desert.”
Indian Wells is usually played in March but was rescheduled this season due to COVID-19. The Serb has already secured his spot at November’s year-end ATP Finals in Turin, and he is trying to become the first player to finish the season as world No 1 seven times. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already ended their seasons, while 2019 Indian Wells champion Dominic Thiem will also be absent due to injury.
Earlier this month, the 34-year-old Serb failed to become the first man in over a half-century to win all four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) in the same year after Daniil Medvedev beat him in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open. It would have made him only the third man to achieve the feat after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969).
Djokovic won the Australian Open in February, beating Medvedev in the final in straight sets, the French Open in June and Wimbledon in July, leveling Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles, the most for a man in the history of a sport that dates to the 1800s. Instead, Djokovic joined Jack Crawford in 1933 and Lew Hoad in 1956 as men who won a year’s first trio of Grand Slam tournaments.
An emotional Djokovic said after the U.S. Open that he remains uncertain whether or not he would play again this season. “To be honest, I don’t have any plans. Absolutely nothing. I don’t know if I’ll play anything, anywhere. Currently, I’m here in New York with my thoughts. Of course, my life is now completely different … I would like to spend more time with my children.”
Meanwhile, women’s World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, winner of two Grand Slam tournaments, has earlier withdrawn from the WTA India Wells singles draw. Officials gave no reason for Barty’s decision to pull out of next month’s women’s draw which was already suffering from the absence of several top-ranked players, including Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.
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