Novak Djokovic confirms he will skip North American event, giving Chris Eubanks a boost

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic press conference
Novak Djokovic pulling a face

Novak Djokovic has opted for an extended break following his defeat in the Wimbledon final as he has confirmed he will once again skip one of the key tournaments in the lead-up to the US Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner has not competed at the Canadian Open since 2018 and he has once again withdrawn from the ATP Masters 1000 event, saying his team feels it “is the right decision” to give the event a miss following his recent exertions at the All England Club.

The Serbian’s most recent match was in the brilliant Wimbledon final on July 16 when he lost in five sets against Carlos Alcaraz.

“I have always enjoyed my time in Canada but after speaking with my team, we believe this is the right decision to take,” the world No 2 said in a statement.

“I would like to thank Karl Hale, the Tournament Director, for understanding this decision. I really hope I can return to Canada and Toronto in the coming years to play in front of great fans there.”

Djokovic, a five-time Canadian Open winner, is expected to only return to action at the Cincinnati Masters from August 14 with the Masters 1000 event set to be his only warm-up tournament for the US Open, which gets underway on August 28 at Flushing Meadows.

“Of course, we’re disappointed that Novak won’t be playing at the National Bank Open this year,” Canadian Open Tournament Director Karl Hale said.

“He’s an incredible player and one we know our fans were eager to watch at Sobeys Stadium. He will be missed but we still have a long list of sensational players confirmed for this year’s event, including 41 of the top 42 players in the world.”

The 36-year-old is set to return to North America for the first time since the 2021 US Open final as he was barred from entering the United States and Canada last year due to their ban on unvaccinated foreign travellers.

He also missed this year’s Sunshine Double as the US restrictions were still in place when the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open took place in March.

But Djokovic’s decision not to play was good news for Chris Eubanks as the American will now move into the main draw.

Eubanks is enjoying the season of his life as he won his maiden title at the Mallorca Championships in June and then reached the quarter-final in his first main draw appearance at Wimbledon, defeating the likes of fifth seed Stefanos Tsitispas and British hope Cameron Norrie.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where and when will he compete after Wimbledon heartbreak?