Novak Djokovic pulls out of doubles at Western & Southern tennis tournament due to neck pain

New York – Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the doubles tournament at the Western & Southern Open due to neck pain.

The Serbian, who has 17 Grand Slam singles titles to his name, is the number one seed in the singles draw. He is set to play in singles competition on Monday against Lithuania’s Ricardis Berankis after he received a first-round bye. Djokovic had also entered the doubles competition with Serbian compatriot Filip Krajinovic.

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The Western & Southern Open is traditionally hosted in Cincinnati, but this year the competition was moved to New York. The event is currently underway in a controlled “bubble” environment at the USTA National Tennis Center. Djokovic had previously won the doubles competition at the tournament in 2018 and reached the semi-final in 2019.

On track to be the top seed at the upcoming US Open later this month, Djokovic, who had already won the Australian Open earlier this year, last played an official ATP match in late February, winning the title in Dubai. He had an 18-0 record in 2020 before the pandemic shut down the pro game in mid-March.

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Djokovic was under a lot of criticism a few months ago, after creating and hosting the “Adria Tour” in June, but that competition was abandoned when Djokovic and other players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Djokovic suffered no symptoms and has since tested negative for the COVID-19.

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