Bad news for tennis fans in Beijing! Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has opted out of the China Open that begins on October 1 to focus on his rehabilitation and preparation for the rest of the tennis season that includes a couple of Masters and the World Tour Finals.
Djokovic, who has won the China Open on six different occasions, from 2009 to 2015, had a good chance to narrow the lead that world number one Rafael Nadal had on him, has decided to forego the 500-point potential from the tournament too.
This decision is a surprising one for Djokovic fans given that the absence of both Roger Federer and Nadal, the defending champion at Beijing, it would have been a good chance for the Serb to go deep into the competition and win a maximum of 500 points.
From Djokovic’s perspective, he would also like to remain fresh for the two Masters tournaments still to come – the one in Paris and Shanghai. Having recently become the first ever player to win all Masters tournaments, to go with having a career Slam, Djokovic’s preference to not feature in the China Open could well be understandable.
Nadal is the defending champion and his early withdrawal had meant he was going to lose those 500 points that he had gained from that victory at China Open last season. However, with Djokovic also opting out of it, Nadal now has the year-end number one ranking in sight.
Juan Martin del Potro, who had earlier withdrawn from the Laver Cup, is the top seed at the China Open while Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and Fabio Fognini will all participate as well. Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund has been seeded fifth while Jack Sock of USA is the sixth seed in the competition.
What this means is that this is the first time since 2011 that none of the Big Four, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray, will participate in the China Open. Earlier, it was also confirmed that these top players will not be participating in the Pune Open that will kick-start the new season in 2019.