Novak Djokovic Next Tournament: Will World No.1 Reignite Rafael Nadal Rivalry And End 8-Year Drought?

Novak Djokovic has not had it all going smoothly for him in the 2024 season so far. The World No.1 recently lost a chance to defend his title at the Australian Open 2024, falling to Jannik Sinner in the semifinals. Recently, a Serbian friend of Djokovic’s claimed that the legend suffered from a relapse of the viral fever the night before the semi-final, that bugged him at the start of the tournament as well. This has made many wonder what would the Novak Djokovic next tournament be.

Now, after his shock defeat, Novak Djokovic has declared himself that he is still assessing his options regarding future tournaments. Djokovic is expected to be selective in his participation even if he doesn’t win titles frequently. The Serbian has already admitted that his priority this season is Grand Slam titles and the Olympics gold medal in Paris. He is taking a little break from tennis now, as he plans his comeback.

“Let’s see how things will unfold in the future. I want my thoughts to settle – when I calm down, I will move on and see what tournaments I will play. I made a commitment to myself that I will give it my all this year, with the priority being Slams and the Olympics. We’ll see whether something will change.”

While the next ‘big’ ATP tournament on the calendar is the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, it looks unlikely that Novak Djokovic will participate in it. Djokovic is a five-time champion in Dubai with his last title coming in 2020. According to Djokovic’s website though, his next appearance will directly be in the United States at the Indian Wells Masters competition.

If Novak Djokovic plays in Indian Wells, it would be his first appearance in the tournament in 2 years, having missed out in 2022 and 2023 due to not being allowed to enter into the country because of not being vaccinated. Interestingly, Djokovic has won the Indian Wells Masters 5 times as well, but his last title win came way back in 2016.

On the other hand, the team of Rafael Nadal also recently confirmed that the Spaniard is aiming to participate in the Sunshine Double after the Doha Open ATP 250 if he is fit after that. Should Nadal make it to the United States, he could not only bump into Djokovic but also play him for the first time in 2 years. This is because of Nadal’s low ranking, which could make him potentially clash with Djokovic in the first or the second round of the competition.

Novak Djokovic 2024 schedule: What does it look like?

While Novak Djokovic looks set to return on tour at the Indian Wells, it means he will be mostly out of action for about another  5 weeks. The 36-year-old is set to play the ‘Sunshine Double’ for the first time since 2019. The Indian Wells and Miami Open is set to be Djokovic’s schedule before turning his attention to the clay season.

Novak Djokovic could follow it up with the Monte Carlo Masters at home and either one of the Rome Masters or the Madrid Masters could follow before the big title defense at Roland Garros. Monte Carlo is generally the first clay test for Djokovic and he would be eager to comeback strong in the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Wimbledon and Olympics would follow the Roland Garros, and the Serbian will be eager to impress in both those high profile tournaments. Djokovic would be aiming to defend his titles in Cincinnati and Paris surely after the US Open.

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