Djokovic joins Nadal in skipping Madrid Open

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Top-ranked Novak Djokovic will miss the Madrid Open, apparently due to a fitness issue, the Spanish event said Saturday.

“Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you back on court as soon as possible, Nole,” the Madrid Open tweeted.

While no specific reason was given for Djokovic’s withdrawal, he did discuss issues with his elbow recently, mostly downplaying the extent of the problem.

Rafael Nadal, who shares the record of 22 Grand Slam titles with Djokovic, said this week that he would miss the Madrid tournament due to a nagging hip injury that has sidelined him since the Australian Open in January.

The 35-year-old Djokovic has had back-to-back early exits from tournaments. He lost in the round of 16 at Monte Carlo to Lorenzo Musetti. Then on Friday, Dusan Lajovic beat Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the Srpska Open, dealing him his first loss to a Serbian countryman in 11 years.

“I didn’t feel well on the court,” Djokovic said after the loss to Lajovic. “My legs were slow, and my footwork was torpid, many missed shots, totally without direction.”

Djokovic said he hoped to find his groove on clay before the French Open, which starts May 28.

The Madrid Open starts Monday. Djokovic has won the tournament three times.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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