The world No.1, Novak Djokovic, has decided to skip the Madrid Masters 1000 which starts on Sunday as far as the men are concerned, in order to spend more time with his family.
Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans. It’s been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year! Novak Djokovic
The organisers were forced, by the Covid pandemic, to cancel the event last year leaving the Serbian, who won the title in 2019, as the reigning champion who has now decided not to defend it.
“Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans”, Djokovic said on Twitter.
“It’s been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year!”
It would seem that Djokovic is starting to implement the decision he voiced after winning his 18h Grand Slam title in Melbourne in February, when he said he would be reconsidering his plans for the year so he could spend more time with his young family.
At the time he said constantly being away from his wife Jelena and their two young children – Stefan, 6, and Tara, 3 – concerns him and is proving a distraction.
In addition, the restrictions organisers are placing on players to maintain their safe pandemic bubbles, is another factor as he can’t have his family travel with him.
“At times it rips my heart apart,” Djokovic said after lifting the Australian Open title for a ninth time.
“I will have to revise my schedule comparing to the last year or any other season before this.
“Obviously time away from family definitely is something that has an impact on me.
“I’ll have to see with these rules and regulations and restrictions in place all over the world, Europe.
“Not being able to take my family on the road is something that is a big problem for me.”
Djokovic is expected to play the Rome Masters and back again in Belgrade as he prepares to try and prevent Rafa Nadal from claiming a 13th French Open title.
So far the Serb has played four tournaments and lost twice, in Monte Carlo to Britain’s Dan Evans, ranked 33 and last week, in the first edition of Belgrade, to Russia’s Aslan Karatsev, the world 28.