Novak Djokovic: World No 1 hopeful of being able to play at Indian Wells and Miami | Tennis News

Novak Djokovic: World No 1 hopeful of being able to play at Indian Wells and Miami | Tennis News

Novak Djokovic is looking forward to a “positive decision” regarding Indian Wells and Miami in March as he closes in on overtaking Steffi Graf as the most weeks at the top of the rankings.

The Serbian recently applied for a “special permit” to enter the US in order to play the upcoming Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami, with unvaccinated travellers still banned from visiting the country until mid-May.

Djokovic, who won a record-extending 10th Australian Open title last month to draw level with his great rival Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam victories, told the Serbian press in Belgrade that he has a “big desire” to play at the ‘Sunshine Double’ which he last won in 2016.

It’s not in my hands so that’s all I can say.

Novak Djokovic

“Everything is in process and I’m really thankful to Indian Wells and Miami for their support, publicly, and they would like me to be able to play,” he said.

“I’m really thankful for that because I have a big desire to play because I haven’t played there for several years so I’m looking forward to hopefully a positive decision coming sometime soon.

“It’s not in my hands so that’s all I can say.”

Djokovic will return to the ATP tour in Dubai next week after winning a record-extending 10th Australian Open title and his 22nd Grand Slam last month

Djokovic’s Grand Slam victory in Australia came at a cost after it was revealed he played with a three-centimetre (1.2 inches) tear in his hamstring during his run.

The 35-year-old had to dispel doubts surrounding an injury throughout the tournament in Melbourne, but he now appears fit and healthy adding he would return to the ATP tour in Dubai next week.

Djokovic leapfrogged Carlos Alcaraz into top spot in the ATP rankings following his victory in Melbourne, but the Spaniard is now only 590 points behind having won the Argentina Open title last week.

Djokovic already holds the record for the most weeks as the men’s No 1 after surpassing Roger Federer’s mark of 310 weeks in March 2021 and he will almost certainly overtake 22-time major champion Steffi Graf when he marks his 378th week at the top on Monday.

Djokovic is expected to overtake Steffi Graf’s mark at the top of the rankings when they are updated on Monday

Djokovic said: “Steffi Graf is one of the biggest legends of our sport in both men’s and women’s tennis. She is somebody that I truly admire and respect.

“Of course it is very flattering that I am able to equal her record and I have a possibility to break the record. Being number one in the world and winning Wimbledon was a dream. When I achieved that dream in 2011 I had to dream new dreams and set new goals.

“I’m very proud of it and I never take the success as my own individual success. I always try to mention my family, my team, it is so key for me to everything that I do in life.”

Djokovic returns to action at next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships where he is a five-time winner, along with Britain’s Andy Murray.

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