Novak Djokovic Out Of Miami Due To COVID Restrictions

by Staff | March 20th, 2021, 11:07 am

The Miami Masters will be Big 3-less for the first time since 2004. Following withdrawals from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, on Friday 6-time champion Novak Djokovic also withdrew citing COVID restrictions.

“Dear fans, I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel to Miami to compete. I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family. With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home. I look forward to coming back next year!” he posted on twitter.

The tournament plans to employ an Australian Open-like restrictive bubble requiring players to stay between the hotel and site.

Prize money is also sharply down. The 2021 winner earns $300K vs $1.35M which Roger Federer won for beating John Isner in the 2019 final.

Djokovic is expected to play in Monte Carlo and Belgrade to start his clay season next month.

Dominic Thiem also withdrew leaving Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as current the top seeds.

Curiously, the women’s field for now appears to be at full strength with Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Serena Williams entered.

The tournament begins on Wednesday with draws released on Monday. A maximum of 750 fans per session are allowed.

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4 Comments for Novak Djokovic Out Of Miami Due To COVID Restrictions

Wog Boy Says:

Nole and Goran are having a good time playing snooker, nice video:

chrisford1 Says:

I had hoped that Miami was going to happen for Djokovic. Don’t buy his “quality family time” argument as he has had a month of that. NOr “Covid restrictions” as Florida is basically open, pro athletes have a waiver from quarantine unless infected, and the bungled vaccination effort of continental Europe high has led to new high infection rates may mean that the Euros may make it harder for athletes due to Covid restrictions.
Could have picked up some easy points in Miami, his swank apartment there gathers dust. But…. The death knell was adding Belgrade to his schedule. Something had to give and it was not that one, or the 3 clay Masters 1000s ‘prep’ tournaments before the French Open.
But Miami is hardcourt and not the prep Djoko wants after his mediocre showing against Nadal last year. Long plane flight, vs, the regular Djokovic Belgrade commute, or the bike ride to Monet Carlo’s courts, or the 1 hour trip to Roma, Madrid and Paris.
Djokovic also has to calculate the wear and tear of going to the Olympics – He wants it, likely his last shot at gold, but it is now jammed in between Roland Garros and Wimbledon Dirt-hardcourt-Grass in a row? Part of me hopes Andy travels there and wins his 3rd straight gold medal somehow. Something that would absolutely mystify tennis sports stats fans 20 years from now.
Nadal has seemed to have gotten to a point where he he hates Miami and won’t play there if at all possible. A Miami title will likely never be for Nadal. No Masters’s Sweep for Rafa.

Wog Boy Says:

You are pretty much spot on, I just hope that not playing Miami is not going to cost him at the end of the year, though it makes perfect sense not to fly to Miami and spend 3-4 weeks for one HC tournament before Europen CC season.

I am pretty sure he is going to skip Madrid too, will play 3 CC tournaments, MC, Belgrade and Rome.
New point ranking system, that is introduced until August this year allows players to keep 50% of the points from tournaments played in 2019 and not played in 2020, that means he can keep 500 points from Madrid 2019 (canceled in 2020), but can’t keep 1000 point from Rome, played in 2020.

Wog Boy Says:

As for Nadal, he is short of 3 Masters for the sweep (Miami, Shanghai snd Paris) he never stood a chance to make it.
The 39 years old missed his chance while back in Rome and MC, when Rafa was still young and Nole was yet to step in as a natural force.
I still remember that 5 setter in Rome when Nadal wasn’t playing anything special but 39 years old simply choked, that match should have never gone five sets to start with and even in the fifth set TB he had mini breaks but simply chocked it.

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