Novak Djokovic Officially Withdraws From Miami

Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Miami Open due to an elbow injury.

Doubts concerning the world No.2 surfaced on Saturday when Serbian media reported that Djokovic flew back to Monaco to have an assessment on his right elbow. The issue has troubled him throughout the BNP Paribas Open, where he was knocked out in the fourth round by Nick Kyrgios. In a statement posted on social media, Djokovic confirmed that his withdrawal was due to medical advice.

“My doctor has strongly advised against play because my elbow injury, that I keep carrying on for months, got worse in the past week. I will do everything in my power to recover and do all the necessary therapy to be able to return on court as soon as possible.” He wrote.

Djokovic has been troubled by an elbow problem throughout the second half of 2016. The issue forced him to withdraw from the China Open in September. It has been reported that throughout Indian Wells, where he played in both the singles and doubles, Djokovic was taking anti-inflammatories to cope with the problem.

“No wonder they say that in sport the biggest and most painful defeats come from injuries, and not from opponents.” Said Djokovic.

It is unclear as to how long the Serbian will be absent from the tour. Next month will be the start of the clay swing of the tour with the prestigious Monte Carlo Masters taking place before two further high profile tournaments in Madrid and Rome the following month. It is also unclear if he will be fit in time for Serbia’s quarter-final tie against Spain in the Davis Cup, which will start on April 7th.

Djokovic’s absence from Miami comes a day after Andy Murray’s withdrawal. The world No.1, who lost to Vasek Pospisil in Indian Wells, has also withdrawn due to an elbow injury. The two-time champion has already switched his focus to the clay.

“The focus is on getting ready for the clay-court season. Apologies to the fans, it’s one of my favourite tournaments.” Murray about pulling out of Miami.

Gael Monfils has also joined the list of notable absentees. The Frenchman joins compatriots Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet on the Bench. Tsonga has skipped the event due to the pending birth of his child. Meanwhile Gasquet is recovering from surgery on his appendix.

As a result of the series of withdrawals, Stan Wawrinka is set to be the top seed in the men’s draw at Miami.

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