Tennis Canada announced on Thursday that the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, no. 12, have withdrawn from the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal.
After a physically demanding run at Wimbledon where he won his 16th Grand Slam title in a closely fought battle against Roger Federer in the final, Djokovic will require more time to recover before beginning his hard court season.
“I’m sorry to announce that I decided to pull out of Rogers Cup. With the support of my team, I have decided to give my body longer rest and recovery time before coming back again to play. I love Canada and I have many friends there that always make me feel like I’m at home and I’m looking forward to coming back again to play in front of all of you in Montreal.”
Djokovic has had a lot of success in Canada, having won the Rogers Cup title four times, two of which were in Montreal (2007 and 2011) and two in Toronto (2012 and 2016). Last year, in Toronto, he fell in the third round to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
As for del Potro, he injured himself at the tournament in Queen’s during a match against Denis Shapovalov earlier this year. Since then, he underwent surgery on the patella of his right knee and has begun his rehabilitation.
“We would have loved for Djokovic to have the chance to be crowned champion for a third time in Montreal, but we understand his decision and we wish him a quick return for the rest of the season,” stated Eugène Lapierre, Tournament Director of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. “In del Potro’s case, we wish him a speedy recovery, he who has experienced his share of injuries in the past few years. We look forward to seeing him back on court in the near future.”
Following Djokovic’s withdrawal, Rafael Nadal of Spain will be the tournament’s top seed. Nadal will begin his preparations in Montreal starting on Friday, August 2 on the practice courts at IGA Stadium.
Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan will take the two available spots in the main draw. This summer, Montreal will host the very best in men’s tennis during the ATP Masters 1000 event. In addition to the on-court action, the tournament will feature a variety of activities for all, including the IGA Family Weekend, which will take place from August 2 to 4.