Novak djokovic withdraws from madrid open, eyes rome return.

World number one and 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has announced his withdrawal from the Madrid Open this week, marking his third absence from the tournament in four years.

Reports indicate that the 36-year-old Serbian decided to pull out of the competition, a decision reflected in his absence from the draw released on Monday. Djokovic, who is yet to secure a title this season, has opted to reduce his tournament schedule, having participated in only four events thus far.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal, the seasoned tennis stalwart, continues his return from injury as he prepares to compete in Madrid. In his opening match, Nadal is set to take on 16-year-old American Darwin Blanch. Djokovic’s withdrawal further accentuates the narrative of Nadal’s resurgence on the court.

Despite missing Madrid, Djokovic remains a contender for the upcoming Italian Open in Rome, where he aims to defend his French Open title starting on May 26. The Serbian has previously triumphed at the clay court event in Madrid, underscoring his prowess on the surface.

This marks Djokovic’s second withdrawal from a Masters 1000 event this year, following his decision to skip the Miami Open in March. Despite his absence from the Madrid Open, Djokovic has maintained an active presence in the sports community, recently attending the Santiago Bernabeu for the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona fixture and anticipated to make an appearance at the Laureus Awards in Madrid, where he is nominated for the Sportsman of the Year accolade.

Meanwhile, Nadal, aged 37, recently competed at the Barcelona Open but suffered a defeat in the second round against Alex de Minaur. However, he aims to rebound in Madrid, potentially setting up a rematch against De Minaur in the second round.

In other developments, reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz, recovering from a forearm issue, expressed his hope to be fully fit for Madrid. Alcaraz is slated to face either Alexander Shevchenko or Arthur Rinderknech in the second round.

Furthermore, Jannik Sinner, currently ranked second in the world, assumes the top seed position in Djokovic’s absence. Sinner is set to encounter either Italian counterpart Lorenzo Sonego or a qualifier in his second-round match, as he seeks to make his mark in Madrid.