A day after he pulled out of the Abu Dhabi event, Novak Djokovic has made official that he would be skipping the Qatar Open in Doha as well. The Serbian cited a recurrence of pain in his elbow as the reason for withdrawal from the two tournaments. Djokovic was going into the Qatar Open as the defending champion but the latest decision puts his return to Australian Open in doubt.
“Unfortunately, the situation with the elbow has not changed for better since yesterday. I still feel the pain. Therefore, I will have to withdraw from ATP tournament in Doha, that has been voted the best 250 tournament in 2017,” he said in a statement on his official website. “I am sorry that I will not be able to play in front of my fans here. I have great memories of this tournament and the matches I played, like the final against Andy from last year. The atmosphere at the stadium is always wonderful, the organization is on the highest level, and I will surely miss it a lot. However, after the thorough consultations with the medical team, we decided to keep up with the therapies and elbow treatments. Only when I’m 100% ready to play, I will be able to come back. I hope it will be soon. I want to thank everyone for patience and understanding,” he further added.
Djokovic has not competed since Wimbledon where he ended his quarterfinal short with the elbow injury that has plagued him for a long time. Then, he trailed Tomas Berdych 6-7, 0-2 before calling it quits.
Other top contenders for Australian Open, starting January 15, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka are also injury affected going into the first Grand Slam of the year. Nadal had pulled out of Abu Dhabi exhibition event and then Brisbane. Murray, who played an exhibition set against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday, is scheduled to play in Brisbane. While Wawrinka did not play Abu Dhabi and there is no word on his next appearance.