Novak Djokovic withdraws from the Miami Open

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, serves to Luca Nardi, of Italy, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Monday, March 11, 2024, in Indian Wells, Calif. Nardi won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, serves to Luca Nardi, of Italy, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Monday, March 11, 2024, in Indian Wells, Calif. Nardi won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic will skip the Miami Open, saying less than a week after a surprise loss at Indian Wells that he needs to balance his “private and professional schedule.”

Djokovic’s announcement Saturday on his social media accounts follows his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat to unheralded Luca Nardi on Monday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

“At this stage of my career, I’m balancing my private and professional schedule. I’m sorry that I won’t experience some of the best and most passionate fans in the world,” Djokovic wrote.

Nardi, who is ranked No. 123, become the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam or ATP Masters 1000 level event, surpassing No. 122 Kevin Anderson in 2008 in Miami.

The 20-year-old Italian got into the field as a “lucky loser,” which is a player who stumbled on the final hurdle in qualifying but made it into the main draw as a replacement for an injured player who pulled out before the first round.

The 36-year-old Djokovic is a six-time champion in Miami. The hardcourt tournament begins next week.

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