Djokovic thrilled to return to Indian Wells after five year hiatus

February 28, 2024 12:06 pm

Novak Djokovic [Source: Reuters]

Novak Djokovic on Tuesday said he was excited to be back in Indian Wells to compete at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since 2019 after U.S. travel restrictions related to COVID-19 had kept him away.

The world number one is seeking an unprecedented sixth title at the Masters 1000 event that begins next week and is regarded as the biggest tennis tournament outside of the four Grand Slams.

The Serb won the first of his 24 Grand Slams at the Australian Open in 2008 and backed that up a few months later by capturing his first Indian Wells crown.

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Three-times Indian Wells champion Nadal is set to compete at the tournament after missing last month’s Australian Open due to a muscle tear.

The 2020 BNP Paribas Open was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Djokovic missed the next three editions as the United States did not allow unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country.

Djokovic was spotted in Los Angeles on Sunday night watching fellow sporting great Lionel Messi and his Major League Soccer side Inter Miami take on LA Galaxy.

Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina are the defending champions at this year’s BNP Paribas Open, which runs from March 3-17.