Following his ninth appearance in a Wimbledon final, world No. 2 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the National Bank Open “due to fatigue,” Tennis Canada announced Sunday. He has won the Canadian Open singles title four times.
“I have always enjoyed my time in Canada but after speaking with my team, we believe this is the right decision to take,” Djokovic 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 had to battle world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz for five sets at the All England Club on July 16. Although he made it difficult for the Spanish rising star, Djokovic still had to settle for a loss. Alcaraz earned the second Grand Slam title of his career with a final result of 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
With Djokovic pulling out of the competition, American Chris Eubanks has automatically received an entry into the main draw. Eubanks shocked the world by making a deep run into the Wimbledon quarterfinals as an unseeded player. On his way there, he took down No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 12 seed Cameron Norrie.
“Of course, we’re disappointed that Novak won’t be playing at the National Bank Open this year,” tournament director Karl Hale said in a statement. “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 2023 National Bank Open is taking place Aug. 4-13. The men’s event will be in Toronto while the women will play in Montreal.