Novak Djokovic’s doubles plan in Tel Aviv takes a massive hit as Jonathan Erlich withdraws

Novak Djokovic's chances of playing doubles at the Tel Aviv Open in Isreal hits a major roadblock as Jonathan Erlich withdraws after an injury.

Jonathan Erlich and Novak Djokovic
Jonathan Erlich and Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, the former world number one was scheduled to play in the doubles category at the Tel Aviv Open in Isreal with Jonathan Erlich in his farewell event. Djokovic and Erlich had together won the doubles title at the Queen’s Club in 2010 and it was the only time Djokovic had won the doubles trophy.

But, things took a massive hit when Erlich got injured during one of the practice sessions and had to withdraw himself from the tournament after further investigations and giving his health the topmost priority. With this, the chances of the Serbian playing the doubles match went into a blinder since he had a very short time to find himself a new partner.

Unable to find a new partner for his doubles match and with Erlich‘s withdrawal, Bart Stevens and Sander Arends were given a walkover to the next round. But he will play his singles match against Pablo Andujar of Spain in the Round of 16 since being a top-seed player earned the first round bye.

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Novak Djokovic is looking to improve his rankings before the end of the year

djokovic doubles - FirstSportz
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has already missed participating in two of the Grand Slam events of the year and his long absence from the court has affected his overall rankings as he fell out of the Top 5. He stated that he doesn’t like to have such long gaps within tournaments but he expressed being aware of the consequences he would have to face for his firm stance of not getting vaccinated anytime soon.

Tel Aviv will be Djokovic’s second tournament after his withdrawal from the US Open. He played at the Laver Cup and was the witness to Roger Federer‘s emotional farewell where he played two singles matches and one double match. After losing the singles match against Felix Auger Aliassime, he informed of a minor wrist injury that had happened prior to the match but got aggravated with playing two back-to-back matches in two days’ time.

But Djokovic seems quite excited to be back on the Tour and gain some points in order to better his rankings before the year ends. He has said “I am very happy and excited to be back in Israel. Looking forward to a great experience.”

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Prateek Pradhan is a tennis writer at FirstSportz. He is currently pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. He is very passionate about sports and a huge fan of Rafael Nadal. Other than tennis, he also follows football and cricket.