June 23, 2024

Novak Djokovic expressed his enthusiasm about returning to Indian Wells to compete at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since 2019, as COVID-19-related U.S. travel restrictions had previously prevented him from attending. The world’s number one player is aiming for an unprecedented sixth title at the prestigious Masters 1000 event, which commences next week and is renowned as one of the premier tennis tournaments outside of the Grand Slams.

Reflecting on his anticipation for the upcoming competition, Djokovic remarked, “It has been five years, way too long to not be part of the Tennis Paradise tournament, one of the best tournaments in the world without a doubt.” He emphasized Indian Wells’ esteemed status among players and fans alike, labeling it as a favorite among Masters tournaments. Djokovic expressed eagerness to once again showcase his skills in front of the tournament’s passionate tennis enthusiasts.

Djokovic’s connection to Indian Wells extends back to his early successes in his career, as he clinched his first Indian Wells title shortly after winning his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2008.

Djokovic reminisced about his memorable victories at Indian Wells, highlighting the significance of his first title win against Mardy Fish as one of the highlights of his career at that time. He fondly recalled his subsequent successes, clinching the title a total of five times and engaging in thrilling matches against the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the finals. Djokovic expressed genuine excitement about returning to the tournament and reliving those competitive moments.

Meanwhile, Nadal, a three-time champion at Indian Wells, is set to make his return to the tournament after missing the recent Australian Open due to a muscle tear.

The cancellation of the 2020 BNP Paribas Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with subsequent travel restrictions, meant that Djokovic missed out on competing in the tournament for the past three editions.

In a casual outing, Djokovic was spotted in Los Angeles attending a Major League Soccer match between Lionel Messi’s team, Inter Miami CF, and the LA Galaxy on Sunday night.

The defending champions for this year’s BNP Paribas Open, running from March 3 to March 17, are Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina.

Novak Djokovic equals record with 58th grand slam quarter-final | beIN  SPORTS

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