This is a double whammy of bad news for tennis fans and the organizers of the ATP’s Madrid Open scheduled to begin on April 24, 2023.
Just days after Rafael Nadal withdrew because the recovery from his hip injury suffered at the Australian Open is progressing much slower than expected, Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Madrid Open.
Novak Djokovic withdraws from Madrid. pic.twitter.com/5LfkiFkMwS
— Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) April 22, 2023
This is troubling because Novak is having a slow start to the clay court season.
He needs matches to get in form for Roland Garros.
Djokovic has an elbow injury and has been seen playing both with and without a sleeve on it.
A few days ago after a long match in the Round of 16 at the Srpska Open, Djokovic was optimistic about his health.
“The elbow has held up well and the fact that it has done so in a match like this, lasting more than two and a half hours, shows me that I am healthy. These conditions are not good for the joints, but I feel good and I am hungry for victories.”
Novak Djokovic: “The elbow has held up well and the fact that it has done so in a match like this, lasting more than two and a half hours, shows me that I am healthy. These conditions are not good for the joints, but I feel good and I am hungry for victories.” pic.twitter.com/s1xPrhOckr
— Mario Boccardi (@marioboc17) April 19, 2023
In the quarterfinals, he lost to 32-year-old Serbian compatriot Dusan Lajovic in straight sets.
What It Means
The French Open also known as Roland Garros kicks off on May 22, 2023.
With both Djokovic and Nadal ailing, it could open the door for a new French Open champion.
The two have won every French Open since 2005 except for two with Nadal capturing 14 of the French Open titles.
The Swiss pair of Roger Federer in 2009 and Stan Wawrkina in 2015 are the only players not named Djovokic and Nadal to win in recent years.
Tennis fans want to see high-quality tennis, especially at the Grand Slams.
Hopefully, Djokovic and Nadal are healthy enough to compete at a high level.
If they are not, it would be logical to assume that 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz could grab his second Grand Slam title.
NO RIGHT TO WIN THAT POINT 🤯@carlosalcaraz #BCNOpenBS pic.twitter.com/33vKDFMO9t
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 20, 2023
He is currently the No. 2 ranked player in the world (behind Djokovic) and the 2022 US Open Champion but has also dealt with injuries in 2023.
Me 🤝 Clay 🧱 https://t.co/3Tlmy31OM0
— Taylor Fritz (@Taylor_Fritz97) April 21, 2023
In addition to Alcaraz, there are other young players not to be overlooked including American Taylor Fritz who is having an excellent clay court season so far.