Novak Djokovic postpones first potential Rafael Nadal meeting of the year as Serb withdraws from Madrid Open 2024

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Tennis fans will have to wait another week to see the first potential Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal meeting of the year, as the Serb withdrew from the upcoming 2024 Madrid Open.

Nadal and Djokovic are yet to feature in the same tournament all season, with the Spaniard only having participated in the Brisbane International up until this week. Out on the sidelines due to injury, he returned to action at the Barcelona Open to kickstart his clay season.

Djokovic, meanwhile, played at the United Cup while Brisbane was going on. When Nadal was playing at Barcelona, the World No. 1 was away from the action, having just taken part in the Monte-Carlo Masters the previous week. Now, Rafael Nadal has landed in Madrid, to take part in his first Masters 1000 event of 2024.

Unfortunately, he will not be joined by the 24-tme Grand Slam champion, as revealed by credible sources on social media. The Djokovic camp is yet to confirm the withdrawal and the reason for the same, but word is expected to arrive soon.

The Serb is a three-time winner in Madrid, having won the title in 2011, 2016 and 2019. He didn’t participate in the tournament last year as well but went on to win the French Open a couple of weeks later.

Novak Djokovic yet to win a title in 2024

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters - Day Seven
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters – Day Seven

If Novak Djokovic shows up at the Italian Open following the Madrid Open, the Serb will be arriving without a title in the season — a rarity.

To be fair, Djokovic has only played three singles tournaments this year: The Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Monte-Carlo Masters. After reaching the semifinals in Melbourne, the World No. 1 exited in the Round of 32 in Indian Wells before losing in the semifinals in Monte-Carlo.

After his loss to Casper Ruud on clay, Djokovic admitted that he was not having a great season. However, he hoped to pick up the pace in the coming weeks, rationalizing that the level of tennis he produced during those three tournaments was not cause for worry.

“I mean, I’m used to really high standard in terms of expectations of the results, so not having a title is, maybe comparing to the last 15 years, not a great season at all. But I had semis of Australia, semis here. I only played three tournaments this year, so of course, you know, it’s normal to expect that you have some seasons where you don’t start well, and this is the one,” Djokovic said.

“Hopefully, yeah, I can pick up, in terms of results, I can build from here, because, you know, I played some good tennis. Hopefully in the next tournaments I’ll be able to play even better,” he added.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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