Novak Djokovic pulls out of Madrid Open a month before French Open | tennis news
Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open in the wake of recent concerns over an elbow injury.
The announcement comes just a month out from the French Open, with Rafael Nadal having also already confirmed he will not compete in Madrid.
While it is unclear as to the exact reasoning for Djokovic’s withdrawal, he recently admitted his right elbow was “not in an ideal condition” as he played with strapping on during his upset defeat to Lorenzo Musetti in Monte Carlo.
The 35-year-old was back in action at the end of the week but suffered a shock quarter-final defeat to Serbian compatriot and world No 70 Dusan Lajovic at the Srpska Open.
“I didn’t feel well on the court, my legs were slow and my footwork was torpid, many missed shots, totally without direction,” he said afterwards.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been victorious in Madrid on three occasions in the past, most recently in 2019, and reached the semi-finals last season before being beaten by Carlos Alcaraz.
“I hope to get into tip-top shape for Roland Garros. I want to play my best tennis there,” Djokovic said earlier this week.
“The conditions are totally different there in comparison with Monte Carlo and Banja Luka. There are still several weeks to practice and play. In the previous seasons, I’ve always had an unsatisfying and slow start on clay, and then played better tennis in the final stages. I hope to repeat the same pattern this year.”