Novak Djokovic, the world No. 2 and a six-time champion at the Miami Open, withdrew from the upcoming Key Biscayne tournament due to a right elbow injury.
The news comes a day after world No. 1 Andy Murray announced that he, too, will be forced to skip the event March 21-April 2 with an elbow injury. Top-ranked Serena Williams, an eight-time champions at the event, will also miss it this year, citing a knee injury.
“I have some very disappointing news to share with you regarding the Miami Open tournament,” Djokovic said Sunday in a statement. “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. Sadly, I won't be able to defend my title in Miami this week.”
Djokovic added, “Believe me, it is as shocking to me as it is to you. I had an incredible run in Miami, I won there my first Masters tournament and started my campaign towards the top of the world rankings. I truly love playing in Miami. No wonder they say that in sport the biggest and most painful defeats come from injuries, and not from opponents. I am lucky that throughout my career I didn't have many injuries, but I guess that all that I've been through physically in the past so many years did leave a mark on my body."
Djokovic has struggled with his game of late, and last week lost in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells, Calif., to Nick Kyrgios.
“Novak is a tremendous champion and wonderful ambassador for the sport. We hope he is able to get back on the court soon,” said Miami Open director Adam Barrett.
Despite the absences of Murray, Djokovic and Williams, the 2017 Miami Open features the other top players in the world, including resurgent Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams, Stan Wawrinka, and Argentine crowd favorite Juan Martin del Potro.
Tickets can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or online at www.miamiopen.com.