Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem Headline the List of Absentees at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/17/2021, 9:32 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

The Miami Open 2021 will be the first ATP 1000 series tournament of the year. Yet, due to its proximity to the clay season and several injury hurdles, some big players are absent from the tournament. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem are the top 10 players who will be missing from the flagship event.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer is the defending champion in Miami. He won the last 2019 edition defeating John Isner in the finals. But in 2021, Federer made his return to tennis after 13 months out because of injury. The return wasn’t a happy one as he lost in the second round of the ATP 250 event in Doha, Qatar.


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Roger Federer wearing a mask as he walks out before his first round match against Great Britain’s Dan Evans. Federation/Samer Al-Rejjal/Handout via REUTERS

Thus, along with Dubai Tennis Championships, Federer had decided to skip Miami too in order to practice more. He is looking ahead at the clay season for match fitness to fully prepare for the grass-court season and more importantly Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Miami Open hasn’t been sweet for Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has never won a title in Miami, losing a couple of finals. Over the past few years, injuries and scheduling have posed a problem for Rafa’s participation.

His last appearance came in 2017 where he lost the final to Federer. This year, with his back injury and the clay court season just after Miami, Nadal has decided not to participate.

Serena Williams

A record 8-time winner at Miami, Serena Williams withdrew from the Miami Open because of recent oral surgery. The American now has participated at Miami Open only twice since 2016.

Serena Williams of the U.S. during her semi-final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Novak Djokovic

The World No.1 Novak Djokovic withdrew from Miami Open to stay home for family. With an eye on tennis, Djokovic called for having a balance between tennis and home.

In his statement, Djokovic said he wanted to spend more time with his family. Because of the restrictions around the world, the Serb wants to stay home before he starts to travel again. Djokovic has won the most titles in Miami.

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem reacts during his fourth-round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Dominic Thiem‘s 2021 hasn’t gone as planned. The Austrian has a dreadful 5-4 record this year. Moreover, he has won just one match in the last four matches he has played in. A shock exit in Doha, Qatar was followed by a first-round thumping against Lloyd Harris at ATP Dubai. Looking to reset himself before the clay season, Thiem withdrew from Miami Open 2021.

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka is getting old and his best playing days are seemingly behind him. He is carefully selecting tournaments so as not to fatigue himself. Moreover, the current circumstances with the coronavirus have made life tough for athletes.

Wawrinka is on a three-match losing streak, and in order to stay fresh and less fatigued before the clay-court season, he has withdrawn from Miami Open.

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland reacts. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Andy Murray

Two-time champ at Miami Open, Andy Murray withdrew late from the tournament because of a left groin injury

Nick Kyrgios

Australian ace Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from Miami Open 2021. He had participated in the last four editions and has enjoyed success. Nick reached the semifinals twice but has refrained from traveling out of Australia because of coronavirus.

Nick Kyrgios reacts during his third-round match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Kyle Edmund

British ace Kyle Edmund also withdrew from Miami Open 2021. He is yet to play a match in 2021 and has been dealing with a knee injury.

Borna Coric

Coric suffered an injury during the Dubai Tennis Championships 2021 and withdrew from the tournament in the first round. Thus still recovering from the injury, he has withdrawn from Miami Open as well.

Borna Coric of Croatia looks dejected. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Spanish players Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Carballés Baena

Roberto Carballés Baena won’t play in Miami. His compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta was a former semifinalist in Miami but even he withdrew with a view towards maintaining fitness for the upcoming clay-court season.


Other players missing from Miami Open 2021


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The French trio of Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Richard Gasquet have also withdrawn from Miami Open 2021. Tsonga again had an injury while playing in Dubai while Gasquet played at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2021, losing in the second round. Monfils is yet to return after his emotional exit from the first round of Australian Open 2021.

Former top 10 player Matteo Berrettini has also withdrawn from the tournament. And young Norwegian star, Carper Ruud will also not play in Miami.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reacts. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Argentine ace, Pablo Cuevas ranked 72nd won’t participate in Miami because of a broken toe. Furthermore, his compatriot Guido Pella is still far from fully fit and thus won’t play in Miami Open 2021. Moreover, French tennis player Gilles Simon took an indefinite break from tennis because of mental health issues.


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Bhavishya Mittal

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Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.