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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday March 19, 2021

Novak Djokovic has pulled out of this year’s Miami Open, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and a host of others that have decided to skip the first Masters 1000 event of 2021.

“I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel to Miami to compete,” Djokovic wrote on social media. “I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family. With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home.”

Djokovic’s absence from Miami means that a Masters 1000 event will be held without one of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic in the draw for the first time since 2004.

With coronavirus restrictions still impacting the tour, many players have opted not to take the risk of travelling back to the United States. There’s also the fact that players are frustrated by the drop in prize money available at the biggest events.

That’s something that Denis Shapovalov spoke about yesterday from Dubai.

"I definitely think there will be a lot of withdrawals, and a lot of people not going to tournaments,” the World No.12 said. “I do agree the prize money is low, and in a way it's not motivating to play every week and play all the big tournaments just because there is not really a lot in it for us. Other than the Slams at this point, that are paying just as much or better.

"For sure it is difficult for the players but we're in this situation, and hopefully the ATP or someone can do something to improve the prize money and bring it back to what it was, but it is what it is right now, so we have other obligations, from sponsors, contracts that obligate us to play as well, so for sure that is definitely one reason why a lot of players are still playing because otherwise I feel like a lot of players wouldn't play at all. But yeah, I feel like other sports have been able to kind of find solutions and find ways to keep the prize money and keep their salaries, so I feel like there are better ways to solve this problem and go about it from the ATP side."


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