World number one Novak Djokovic will not defend his Madrid Open title next week as he decided against travelling for the ATP Masters 1000 event, organisers said on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old was last seen in action on his home soil at the Serbia Open last week, where he reached the semi-finals before losing to Russia’s Aslan Karatsev.
“Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans,” Djokovic said in a message shared by the Madrid Open organisers on Twitter here.
“It’s been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year!”.
The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the 2020 edition of the Madrid Open to be cancelled, which means 2019 winner Djokovic is still the last champion at the event.
Djokovic is still expected to feature at next month’s Rome Masters and Belgrade Open in the lead up to the claycourt major in Paris, which begins on May 30.