Six-time Miami Open champ Novak Djokovic pulls out, cites scheduling issues | Tennis News

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic will skip the Miami Open saying, less than a week after a surprise loss at Indian Wells, that he needs to balance his “private and professional schedule”.

Djokovic’s announcement Saturday on his social media accounts follows his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat to unheralded Luca Nardi on Monday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

“At this stage of my career, I’m balancing my private and professional schedule. I’m sorry that I won’t experience some of the best and most passionate fans in the world,” Djokovic wrote.

Nardi, who is ranked number 123, became the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam or ATP Masters 1000 level event, surpassing number 122 Kevin Anderson in 2008 in Miami.

The 20-year-old Italian got into the field as a “lucky loser”, a player who stumbled on the final hurdle in qualifying but made it into the main draw as a replacement for an injured player who pulled out before the first round.

The 36-year-old Djokovic is a six-time champion in Miami. The men’s hardcourt tournament begins on March 20.

Djokovic, a record 24-time Grand Slam champion, is 8-2 on the season but is yet to win a title in 2024.

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