Did Novak Djokovic Keep Team Serbia in the Dark About ATP Cup 2022?

Published 12/30/2021, 12:24 AM EST
TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Novak Djokovic of Team Serbia reacts at match point to be defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta of Team Spain during the Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)


The ATP Cup 2022 is set to begin, starting at the turn of the year. As always, team Serbia is a strong contender. However, their star player and currently the best in the world, Novak Djokovic, has pulled out of the tournament.

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Djokovic was set to play the ATP Cup, with his name confirmed in the listings as well. Thus, the Serbian’s reasons for his late exit have the rest of the team baffled.

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Serbian teammates don’t know why Novak Djokovic withdrew

After days of ongoing mystery and ambiguity about Djokovic’s participation in the cup, his withdrawal became official on Wednesday. It comes after months of continued speculation about the World No. 1’s vaccination status.

Dusan Lajovic, the World No. 33 who will lead Team Serbia in the Djoker’s absence, spoke about Novak leaving. However, Lajovic knew just as much as everybody else. “I don’t know the official reason but maybe the ATP knows,” Dusan stated.

He did say, though, that Novak Djokovic definitely wished to be playing the cup. “He was, I think, hoping the same as we did, that somehow he will be here, but unfortunately he’s not.”

The new team leader, Lajovic talked about Djokovic’s participation in both the ATP Cup and the impending Australian Open. “He just said that he’s not coming to the ATP Cup and he’s trying to get to the Australian Open,” Dusan Lajovic said.

 

Furthermore, Lajovic even shared what Djokovic told the team before pulling out. “He said, ‘I’m not coming guys to the ATP Cup; we’ll see about the Australian Open’. He’s waiting for a decision,” Lajovic shared.

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The team knew about Djokovic’s exit beforehand

Initially, teammate and compatriot Dusan Lajovic was joking about the development. He pretended to be shocked and said that he only had been told minutes earlier about Nole’s withdrawal.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Novak Djokovic of Team Serbia looks on during his Men’s Singles Bronze Medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Team Spain on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

However, he did share that the rest of the team knew about Djokovic’s withdrawal almost two days ahead. Despite knowing about it, they still hoped for a last-minute reversal of the decision, though. “It’s never the same when you have the No.1 in your team and you don’t have it,” Lajovic expressed. “It’s a big difference.”

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“When Novak is in the team, the expectations get much higher,” Dusan continued. He then described how Novak Djokovic’s presence makes the team push as hard as possible.

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Team Serbia, and the rest of the world, too, are now eager to see whether Novak Djokovic will be in Australia to defend his reign at the first Grand Slam of the year.

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Samarveer Singh

226 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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