Tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic won’t be competing in this year’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, after all. The Serbian announced his withdrawal from the event in a statement this week, while saying he’s sorry for having to sit out as Indian Wells is one of his favourite places to compete.
Djokovic spent the biggest part of this year searching for the first Calendar Year Grand Slam run since Rod Laver. A Calendar Year Grand Slam refers to a player winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single year. The oftentimes controversial Serbian lost out on his following his US Open final defeat by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic is a five-time title holder at Indian Wells and says the desert isn’t only a favourite spot to play, but also to visit.
BNP Paribas Open tournament director said this week it’s a disappointment to hear that Djokovic won’t be competing in the tournament. He said the hope was that he’d be back to contend for a record sixth title in Tennis Paradise in March next year.
Disappointing for tennis fans the world over is not only Djokovic’s message that he won’t be playing at Indian Wells this October, but also similar announcements by several other greats – including women’s tennis aces Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
Osaka earlier this year admitted to struggling with mental health issues. While the 23-year-old won her very first WTA title at Indian Wells in 2018, she has expressed uncertainty over when she’ll be returning to playing tennis on the global stage.
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