Novak Djokovic, the defending champion of this year's Mutua Madrid Open, has formally announced his withdrawal from the tournament. Having lost to Aslan Karatsev in the semifinals of the recently concluded Serbian Open, the world number one plans to play another event in his homeland before boarding the flight to Paris for the French Open.
Novak Djokovic announces his decision to withdraw from the Madrid Masters "I regret not being able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans," Djokovic said in a press release. With this announcement, he joins Roger Federer, Gael Monfils and Stan Wawrinka on the long list of absentees from the event.
Djokovic's decision to withdraw from the tournament drew divisive opinions from tennis fans. While some of them agree with his decision, others felt that his programming on clay this year would affect his chances at the French Open.
Greg Rusedski on Novak Djokovic
Backing the world number one, former British tennis player Greg Rusedski said, “Everyone is talking about Novak Djokovic not playing Madrid. Let’s remember playing in Madrid is nothing like Roland Garros with the bounce and altitude”.
Novak Djokovic’s decision to withdraw from the tournament attracted divisive opinions from tennis fans. While some of them agree with his decision, others felt that his clay-court scheduling this year would affect his French Open chances.
Backing the world number one, former British tennis player Greg Rusedski said, “Everyone is talking about Djokovic not playing Madrid. Let’s remember playing in Madrid is nothing like Roland Garros with the bounce and altitude.
Maybe Novak would like to support his home event & try a new lead-up schedule. Hard to argue with someone with 18 majors”. Rusedski explained. The 33-year-old is almost certain to play in Rome, where he has triumphed five times in the past.
The Serb is also on the entry list for the Belgrade 2 event at the moment, which will be held just one week before Roland Garros. Having said that, Novak Djokovic's participation at his hometown event will likely depend on his performance at the Rome Masters.
The Serb will have to defend 500 points at the Foro Italico this year, given that he won the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in 2020. The Serb has always maintained that grand slams are his priority, but if he decides to play the home tournament, it will be a dent in his chances in Paris. However, he is yet to confirm his participation at the Belgrade event.