Novak Djokovic doesn't feature in this year's Beijing China Open field, but he may still accept a last minute invitation from the Chinese event. During his career, Djokovic only committed to ATP 250s/500s when he was 100 percent sure to play, and that's why he hasn't made a commitment to the organizers so far.
The Co-Tournament Director Thomas Ross spoke about the topic in an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA: 'We have offered him a wild card, but he has not accepted as of yet. However there are ongoing discussions. It seems Novak didn't want to make any commitment during the summer, and we respect his right to control his schedule.
We'd love to have him, and we hope that it's still a possibility. He's played the China Open six times, and is a six-time champion! It's a little bit like Rafa (Nadal) at Monte Carlo', Ross stated laughing.
Djokovic will play Laver Cup after the US Open, staying in the United States for six weeks in total. Ross also expects a lot from Juan Martin del Potro, who will make his second appearance ever there. Ross recalled the 2017 edition when the Argentinian got a last-minute wild card.
'It was the first time that he played the tournament. We never had a conversation before last year. But by the end of the tournament - he lost in the quarter-finals - he thanked us for the wild cards (singles and doubles).
I think Rafa (Nadal) was on the television, he looked around the players' lounge and commented on the facilities, and said, "Congratulations on a great event. This is not a 500, this is like a Masters 1000!" And in many ways, if you talk to the ATP players, they play Beijing the week before the Masters Series in Shanghai, and they often compare (Beijing) to playing Indian Wells before Miami.
We are very proud of that.' In the past years, pollution was a problem in Beijing, and Ross admitted it: 'I have been travelling from California to China for nearly 30 years and I can tell you that it has been an issue.
At different times of the year, it can be more of a problem than others, but it has gotten much better. We can consider closing the roof, but we never got close to that last year. And to the best of my knowledge, there has only been one player I am aware of who has opted not to play our event for that reason.
But we have a strong field that typically returns every year.' ALSO READ: 'People are upset because Roger Federer didn't win Wimbledon, says Rusedski