The Serb started with a third-round loss in Monte Carlo, which was followed by a surprising quarterfinal loss at his home event in Banja Luka. It was obvious that Djokovic wasn't 100% fit and that was now confirmed as he withdrew from the 2023 Madrid Open.
Djokovic will miss the Madrid Open for the first time since 2021 and it will be overall his fifth absence from the tournament. He's not the only one to skip the ATP 1000 tournament in the Spanish capital as his biggest rival Rafael Nadal was also forced to withdraw. The statement from the tournament regarding Djokovic's withdrawal reads:
“Novak Djokovic is unable to compete at the Madrid Open. Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you back on court as soon as possible, Nole.”
After the disappointing loss in Banja Luka, Djokovic didn't hold back when commenting on his performance as he was very honest about his level.
"I didn’t even feel good physically on the court: I felt slow, with sluggish legs; I missed a lot of balls and was totally out of shot. At times I played well, but well below my level."
The 22-time Grand Slam champion will now want to focus on the upcoming Italian Open in Rome, but his main focus will be the same as of his rival Nadal, and that's the 2023 Roland Garros, where both have a chance to win their 23rd major.