Djokovic vows to play Miami after Indian Wells shock

Serbian suffers shock defeat to world number 123 at Indian Wells

AFP March 12, 2024


Novak Djokovic vowed to play the upcoming Miami Open after blaming a "really bad day" for his shock exit at the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters on Monday.

The Serbian world number one's long-awaited return to Indian Wells after a five-year absence ended in a stunning third round defeat to lowly-ranked Italian Luca Nardi, the world No.123.

Djokovic said despite the setback, he still planned to play in Miami.

"Miami is there, so let's see," he said of the next Masters date.

"I wasn't enjoying not playing the Sunshine Double (Indian Wells and Miami) last couple of years. I really wanted to play.

"I really wanted to come (this year) and I really enjoy being both in Indian Wells and Miami," added Djokovic after his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat.

Five-time Indian Wells winner Djokovic was playing his first event since losing to another Italian young gun in Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open semi-finals more than six weeks ago.

"He got in as a lucky loser to the main draw, so he really didn't have anything to lose - so he played great," the 24-time Grand Slam champion said of Nardi.

"He deserved to win. I was more surprised with my level. My level was really, really bad.

"That's it, these two things come together. He's having a great day; I'm having a really bad day. Results (are) a negative outcome for me.'

Djokovic, who at age 36 is trying to consolidate his tournament schedule, said he will carry on to Miami starting next week.

"I do play fewer tournaments, so I'm more selective with my schedule.

"Of course it's not a great feeling when you drop out very early in the tournament, and especially here.

"I haven't played (here)in  five years. I really wanted to do well. But it wasn't meant to be. We move on."


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