Novak Djokovic issues very special message after landing in Indian Wells

Djokovic set to play in Indian Wells for the first time since 2019.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic issues very special message after landing in Indian Wells
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Novak Djokovic issued a special message after officially returning to Indian Wells as the Serb admits he has been "way too long" absent from the tournament and insists that he is ecstatic about retnring to his "favorite Masters tournament."

Djokovic, who made his debut in Tennis Paradise in 2006, made 14 consecutive Indian Wells appearances between 2006 and 2019. But after appearing in the desert 14 consecutive times, Djokovic missed the last couple of tournament editions. 

In 2020, the Indian Wells Masters was canceled due to the pandemic while Djokovic skipped the tournament in 2021. In 2022 and 2023, Djokovic wanted to play in Indian Wells but he ended up missing the tournament because the US vaccine policy at the time wasn't allowing him to enter the US as an unvaccinated foreigner.

In May, the US vaccine policy changed and after returning to the US Open last year, Djokovic is now also set for his Indian Wells return next week. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Djokovic after returning to Indian Wells: Way too long

"It has been five years, way too long to not be part of the Tennis Paradise tournament, one of the best tournaments in the world without a doubt," Djokovic said in a video for the tournament.

"It's probably the favorite Masters tournament of so many players including myself. I can't wait to come and perform once again in front of some of the best tennis fans that we have on the tour."

After beating Mardy Fish in the 2008 final and lifting his first Indian Wells title in 2008, Djokovic was also victorious at the tournament in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

"The first time I won the title in Indian Wells, it was one of the greatest titles of my career at that point...  I'm really looking forward to coming back," Djokovic added.

Djokovic hasn't played any tournaments since the Australian Open but he will still enter the Indian Wells Masters among the top favorites for the title.

Novak Djokovic Indian Wells