Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters that begins next week because of his knee injury.
The Argentine world number four, who had won the title at Indian Wells last year, will not get a chance to defend it after announcing he won’t be participating at this year’s competition.
The announcement comes at a time when he had just returned to the circuit following his knee fracture last year and struggled through to the quarter-final at the Delray Beach Open. He was barely able to move in that match against Mackenzie McDonald and lost in three sets.
Del Potro had retired from his match at the Shanghai Masters against Borna Coric last season because of that same injury and has admitted he still suffers pain. And as a result, he’s said, his doctor has advised him rest in order to be able to recuperate in time for the rest of the season.
In a media release, del Potro said:
“I am truly disappointed that I will not be able to return to the BNP Paribas Open to defend my title. It is one of my favourite tournaments, and I have incredible memories from last year, but my doctors have advised me to rest. I hope to be back on court soon.”
What this withdrawal could mean is that del Potro slips to outside the top 10 in the ATP rankings. As a defending champion, he will be expected to lose 1000 points for this, to go with the 500 for the Acapulco Open that he had also won last season.
Del Potro will be replaced by Japan’s Taro Daniel in the main draw of the Indian Wells Open. Last year, Daniel had beaten Djokovic in this very competition.
Catch all the action from the Indian Wells Masters here.