Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic Announces Concerning News – Withdraws From Adelaide Exhibition

Published 01/28/2021, 9:54 PM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his quarter finals match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on day seven of the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament at Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)


Tennis fans are looking forward to watching their best players participate in A Day at the Drive exhibition event. But, disappointing many, Serbian World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the tournament.

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The news came only about 30 minutes before the Serbian ace’s scheduled match with Italian teenager Jannik Sinner. Djokovic’s training partner in Adelaide and compatriot Filip Krajinovic will take his place in the event.

However, even though the 17-time Grand Slam champion has withdrawn, the day will see many big players kick-off their 2021 season. Following the Krajinovic and Sinner match, the former World No. 1’s Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams will face each other.

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Novak Djokovic withdraws, Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem still on

Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain and Dominic Thiem (L) of Austria pose prior the men’s singles final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France on June 09, 2019. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The reason behind the withdrawal of the 8-time Australian Open champion is still unclear. Given his time in quarantine in Adelaide, many fans were hoping to catch him live in action today.

However, big matches are right on schedule for the one-day exhibition event in Adelaide. The face-off between Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Austria’s Dominic Thiem will be the highlight of the day.

Not to mention, Australia’s favorite Ashleigh Barty will take on World No. 2 Simona Halep in the night session of the tournament. Indeed, it is the perfect way to boost the fans for the 2021 season.

Although the Serbian ace is missing this tournament, he is unlikely to miss the ATP Cup starting on Monday. But as Adelaide is far away from Melbourne Park, this might be a blow for the local fans of Djokovic.

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Williams vs Osaka will make up for Novak’s exit

Naomi Osaka of Japan hugs Serena Williams of the United States after winning the Women’s Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018, in the Flushing neighbourhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Being two of the biggest competitors on the women’s tour, Williams and Osaka will take on the court after Sinner and Krajinovic. Their encounter is never ordinary, and this won’t change even in an exhibition match.

Considering that they are coming straight out of the 14-day quarantine, the results are uncertain. But this match definitely will give an estimation of how much the quarantine has affected them.

Djokovic makes a surprise entry in the second set vs Sinner

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand in his third-round match against Denis Shapovalov of Canada during day six of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2019, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

There has now been a surprising turn of events as Novak has now entered the court. This is everything that Adelaide fans required for a great start to the day. Clearly, the Serbian ace couldn’t keep himself off the court for very long.

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The 2021 season in Australia has officially begun. Next, players will travel to Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin will be defending their title.

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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