Novak Djokovic has pulled out of Serbia’s upcoming Davis Cup group stage matches after citing “personal reasons” for his withdrawal.
The 21-time grand slam champion – who was barred from playing at the US Open because of his unvaccinated status – was due to travel to Spain for his country’s Davis Cup group stage matches.
Serbia is due to face Spain, Korea and Canada in the teams event but it has been confirmed that Djokovic will take no part.
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Serbia captain Viktor Troicki revealed that Djokovic had informed them of his decision, meaning the 35-year-old will not be leading the team as they aim to repeat their incredible triumph in the event in 2010.
“Nole (Djokovic) will not play for personal reasons. It’s his personal matter,” Troicki said.
“Simply, this time he will be prevented from playing, but he will join the national team if we qualify for the final tournament in Malaga in November.”
Not long after the announcement, fans noticed the 21-time major champion sporting a bandage on his left wrist.
The news left tennis fans devastated on social media, with many hoping he wasn’t carrying any form of injury.
Novak Djokovic reflects on challenging 2022
Djokovic admitted after winning his 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon that 2022 had been a difficult year, but insisted there was plenty of time left in his career to achieve more goals and chase more records.
“Well, I mean, certainly this year has not been the same as last years. It has started the way it has started and it has definitely affected me in the first several months of the year. I was not feeling great in general. I mean, mentally, emotionally, I was not at a good place,” he said.
“I wanted to play, but at the same time when I went out on the court in Dubai, was the first tournament of the year, I just felt so much pressure and emotions happening. I wasn’t feeling myself on the court.
“I realized at that point that it’s going to take some time, that I have to be patient, and sooner or later I will get myself in the state, optimal state, where I would like to be.
“Wimbledon historically has always come at such an important stage of my life and my career. When I say Wimbledon as a tournament, but I won Wimbledon. Few times, I think it was in 2018 when I was starting the year with elbow surgery, trying to work my way back in the rankings, not playing well. This was the first slam that I won that served as a springboard for later US Open win, 2019 Australian Open.
“It’s not a coincidence that this place has such relevance in my life and career. It’s a relief, as well, considering what I’ve been through of course this year. It adds more value and more significance and more emotions, of course.
“I don’t feel I’m in a rush really anywhere to end my career in a year’s time or two years’ time or whatever it is. Just I’m not thinking about it. I want to keep my body healthy ’cause that’s obviously necessary in order to keep going at this level. Of course, keep myself mentally sane and motivated to compete with the young guns.”
As well as being barred from the US Open, he also missed ATP 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati in the lead-up to the final grand slam of the year and has fallen from World No.1 to No.6 in recent months.
Djokovic’s next event will be the Laver Cup in September, where he will team up with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray on Team Europe.
It was also recently announced that he will play the ATP 250 event in Tel Aviv, which will take place after the Laver Cup, starting on September 26.
The event in Tel Aviv hasn’t been part of the ATP calendar since 1996, but was brought back by the men’s governing body this year after the cancellation of the Chinese swing.
Tel Aviv had the ATP event between 1978-1981 and 1983-1996, and will make its return this year after a 26-year hiatus.
Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem has also been announced as a participant, as have top stars Diego Schwartzman and Marin Cilic.
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