World number one Novak Djokovic has decided not to feature at the Montreal Open later this year, joining Roger Federer on the sidelines of the tournament. Also opting out of the competition is the 12th-ranked Juan Martin del Potro.
The absence of both Djokovic and Federer takes the sheen off the tournament that is the third-oldest ever in the history of tennis, but also means that Rafael Nadal will now be the top seed at the Rogers Cup. The competition will be played between August 2-11 at the IGA Stadium in Montreal with Nadal starting off as the defending champion.
Djokovic, who won another Wimbledon title earlier this year, defeating Roger Federer in the title-decider, said he wanted to rest and recover before he returned to the circuit heading into the year’s final Grand Slam.
“I’m sorry to announce that I decided to pull out of Rogers Cup. With the support of my team, I have decided to give my body longer rest and recovery time before coming back again to play.”
“I love Canada and I have many friends there that always make me feel like I’m at home and I’m looking forward to coming back again to play in front of all of you in Montreal.”
Argentine del Potro will continue his rehabilitation from the injury he suffered in his encounter against Denis Shapovalov before Wimbledon. He had to undergo an operation of the patella of his right knee.
Djokovic and del Potro will be replaced by Richard Gasquet and Mikhail Kukushkin.
Some of the other players who will feature in this year’s men’s draw include the second seeded Dominic Thiem, third seeded Alexander Zverev and fourth seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas apart from Kei Nishikori, Karen Khachanov, Fabio Fognini and Daniil Medvedev.