Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic confirms his next event as he awaits his Indian Wells fate

Novak Djokovic has confirmed that he will play in the ATP 500 event in Dubai, next week, as he awaits a decision on his participation at the sunshine double.

Djokovic spoke at a press conference at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade, and addressed the media for the first time since winning a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

“I have made a decision to go to Dubai, I travel tomorrow. I am close to 100% intensity, the injury is good,” said the No.1.

When making this comment the Serb was referring to the 3cm hamstring tear he obtained at the Adelaide International event he won prior to the Australian Open.

The 10-time champion in Melbourne wore heavy strapping around his leg throughout the first major of the year, but dropped only one set despite being hampered physically.

Due to the current vaccination rules in the United States, which are set to change in May, Djokovic is not able to enter the country for the first two ATP Masters 1000 events of the year, Indian Wells and Miami.

However, his younger brother Djordje confirmed that Djokovic had applied for a ‘special permit’ which would give him access to two of the most prestigious events on the tour.

The tournament director of Indian Wells, and former No.2, Tommy Haas has been particularly outspoken about the situation and has said that it would be a ‘disgrace’ if Djokovic was unable to play in the desert for a second consecutive year.

Djokovic suggested that he was grateful to have the support of Haas, “The process for that [special permit] has started. It is out of my control now. I’d love to play and I’m glad I received the approval of directors in Miami and Indian Wells. I hope the decision makers will give the approval.”

The 22-time major champion also opened up on his schedule beyond Indian Wells and Miami, as he looks to start the clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic confirmed that he would then head to the Banja Luka Open in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where his brother Djordje is the tournament director, which is the replacement for his home tournament in Belgrade this year.

For now Djokovic’s focus is on Dubai, where he has lifted the title five times before. He heads into the event as the top seed, but will face stiff competition on his return to the tour from the likes of Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.