MIAMI – World number one Novak Djokovic will delay his comeback to the ATP Tour following a muscle injury after deciding to skip the Miami Open starting next week to spend more time with his family.
Djokovic sustained a muscle tear that hindered him during his successful Australian Open title defence last month and the 33-year-old planned to return at Miami before playing the Monte-Carlo Masters and the ATP 250 Serbia Open.
“Dear fans, I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel to Miami to compete,” Djokovic tweeted.
“I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family. With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home. I look forward to coming back next year.”
Djokovic, who won his 18th Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park, eclipsed Roger Federer’s all-time record for most weeks as the men’s world number one on March 8 when he moved past the Swiss to hold the top ranking for the 311th week.
He said at the time that his focus would be on winning more majors, adding he would make necessary adjustments to his playing schedule to achieve that goal.
Rafa Nadal also decided to skip the March 22-April 4 Masters 1000 event to recover from a back injury, while Federer will not be present as he works his way back to full fitness after two knee operations in the past 12 months.
US Open champion Dominic Thiem will miss the event and return to the tour during the European claycourt season. World number two Daniil Medvedev is set to lead the field.
Former champion Andy Murray will also feature, having been given a wildcard by the tournament organisers.