Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic pulled out from the BNP Paribas Open, the competition has started this Wednesday.
“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.
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The Serbian player is also a five-time champion of the BNP Paribas Open. He has produced a record of 50-9 at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in 2016 where it is also the last time he held a champion’s trophy.
According to the director of the tournament Tommy Haas, “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.”
The 34-year-old Serbian player has recently played for the US Open where he was defeated in the finals by Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic has won Roland Garros, Australian Open, and Wimbledon this year. He is the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four major competitions in a single season Grand Slam.
Djokovic is already a titleholder of tour-level 85 times and he has already coveted a place in the Nitto ATP Finals this year. He is also the first player to complete the year-end number 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for seven consecutive times.
The exact reason for Djokovic’s withdrawal was not stated and the tournament organizers have not disclosed the reason for his withdrawal from the competition.
Djokovic is the current tennis player to pull out from the Indian Wells tournament, which will begin on October 4th and will run until October 17th at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
However, unlike Djokovic who has never cleared the reasons for his withdrawal, his tennis superstar contemporaries, Roger Federer and Rafael Naval both will not play in the event because of injuries. Both players each have won 20 Grand Slam titles in their careers.
Opportunity for Others
Djokovic, who won last 2016 the title, is in a tie with Federer for having the most BNP Paribas titles won. Djokovic only has won three out of four major titles this 2021.
The withdrawal of Djokovic would mean that there will be plenty of opportunity for other players to covet the title and it will be the first time that a winner other than the “big three” will win the men’s side in the 2021 BNP Paribas Open.
Apart from Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer, the only other living players who have won a title in Indian Wells are Juan Martin del Potro and current title-holder Dominic Thiem, both players are also missing in action due to their injuries.
Effects of the Pandemic
March 2019 was the last time the BNP Paribas Open was held. The 2020 competition was canceled at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 season was postponed from a March opening to an October opening due to the ongoing rise of infections because of the coronavirus variants and the restrictions for the outdoor events are still in play.
The tickets for the opening of the BNP Paribas are available online. All of the spectators that will attend the tournament are required to claim a digital health pass and must submit valid proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 upon their arrival at the Indian Wells Garden.
As for now, the reasons for Djokovic’s withdrawal are still unknown to the general public. The absence of the Serbian champion, however, will give other Siam Sport hopefuls in the BNP Paribas Open to shine through.