ATP

Djokovic withdraws from Madrid Open as elbow injury sparks Roland Garros concerns

By Sports Desk April 22, 2023

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Madrid Open, with the world number one struggling with an elbow injury just over a month before the start of the French Open.

The 22-time grand slam champion wore strapping on his right elbow at last week's Monte Carlo Masters, suffering a shock 6-4 5-7 4-6 defeat to Lorenzo Musetti in the third round.

Djokovic was back in action at the Srpska Open in Banja Luka this week, losing to fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-finals, but he sparked concerns regarding his injury on the eve of that tournament.

Djokovic described his elbow as "not in an ideal condition" on Tuesday, though he added it was "good enough" for him to continue his preparations for Roland Garros.

On Saturday, however, it was confirmed Djokovic would not compete at the upcoming Masters 1000 event in Madrid, which he has won on three previous occasions.

Djokovic's absence from the clay-court event, which finishes just three weeks before the French Open begins, leaves the 35-year-old facing a battle to be fit for the second grand slam of the year.

Djokovic will not be the only big-name absentee in Madrid, with Rafael Nadal withdrawing earlier this week as he continues to struggle with an injury to his left hip.

With Nadal's chances of participating at the French Open also in the balance, tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said it was "hard to imagine" the event taking place without the 14-time winner.

Both Djokovic and Nadal will be targeting a record-breaking 23rd grand slam singles title if able to compete at the French Open, which will run from May 28 to June 11. 

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