In a surprise move, Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into the Acapulco hardcourt event next week. Djokovic was not scheduled to play until Indian Wells, and most recently was seen having shoulder issues during Davis Cup earlier this month.
But perhaps citing a need for more match play after playing just 8 matches so far this season, Djokovic will join Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro among others at the event. The Serb also has a mountain of ranking points to defend next month with Indian Wells and Miami titles coming off.
“This is great news for the tournament. We’re very pleased to have the World No. 2 in the Acapulco field. The public will be very happy and we’re treating it like a big party,” said Acapulco tournament director Raul Zurutuza. “Novak and Rafa are two great players that give very important value to the tournament. Also having Raonic, del Potro and Goffin in the field will make this a great event.”
The only other time Djokovic has appeared in a pro event in Latin America was the Rio Olympics last summer. He and Nadal played an exhibition series back in 2013.
And with the strength of the Acapulco field, Djokovic could meet del Potro again in the first round!
Djokovic has played Dubai in the past, but this year opted to not play the event and instead made a late entry into Acapulco. Could Acapulco have offered more money than Dubai? Or are the top men just souring on playing in the Middle East when the tour is shifting to the Americas this time of year? (Dubai will feature the last three Slam winners – Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka).
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 23, 2017
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