WATCH: Djokovic Shares First Message Ahead Of Indian Wells Return

WATCH: Djokovic Shares First Message Ahead Of Indian Wells Return

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic is looking forward to his first match at Indian Wells since 2019 in front of what he called "some of the best tennis fans" on the ATP Tour.

Djokovic was the first confirmed entrant at this year's BNP Paribas Open, commonly known as the Indian Wells Masters. Main draw action will begin on March 6th, with a slew of ATP stars expected to descend to California for two weeks of breathtaking tennis.

The 36-year-old Djokovic hasn't played there since 2019, majorly because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19 in the past couple of years. But that restriction was lifted by the United States government last May, meaning the Serb is free to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden once again.

For Djokovic, the wait has been far too long. He regards Indian Wells as one of his favorite tournaments and one, presumably, with some of his best memories on a tennis court. In a recent video shared by the tournament on X, the five-time champion addressed his fans.

"It's been five years. It's way too long not to be part of the Tennis Paradise tournament. It is one of the best tournaments in the world, without a doubt. Probably the favorite Masters tournament of so many players, including myself. I can't wait to come and perform once again in front of some of the best tennis fans we have on the tour."

Not only was Djokovic an early entrant into the 96-man field. But he is also among the first to arrive as he boarded the same flight as longtime rival Rafael Nadal, with the pair sharing a jovial moment together by posing for a joint photo.

Djokovic has won a record 40 Masters 1000 titles, but the first one was lifted in the desert in 2008 when he defeated Mardy Fish. He has gone on to capture the title four more times, beating both Nadal and Roger Federer in some of the most exciting finals in the tournament's history.


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