Time to ask what is wrong with Novak Djokovic is now after his major announcement

Something seems to be going on with the all-time great tennis player.
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Tennis fans have not seen Novak Djokovic struggle as much as he has in the early part of 2024 since 2017. That year things went awry for the Serb and he went from being clearly the best player in tennis to suddenly not looking like a top ten player. Thankfully, for the player and tennis fans, Djokovic recovered and became dominant again.

At the end of 2023, however, we began to see cracks in his game again. Sure, he won the ATP Finals, but he lost in the round-robin stage to Jannik Sinner. Sinner then beat him the next week at the Davis Cup and the Italian slammed Djokovic in four sets at the 2024. Australian Open. Djokovic no longer seems like the best player on the ATP tour; Sinner is.

But Djokovic has not won a tournament he has entered this year. He lost at the United Cup to begin 2024, and then he bowed out at Indian Wells against qualifier Luca Nardi. That was not only one of Djokovic's most shocking losses in his career but one of the more surprising losses ever. The ATP No. 1 simply doesn't seem capable of making the same shot we have become accustomed to nearly as consistently.

Novak Djokovic is pulling out of playing the Miami Open

But after losing early in the first Masters 1000 of the year, a report surfaced on Thursday that Djokovic will be choosing not to play in the second Masters 1000 of the year. He is withdrawing from the Miami Open which is set to begin on March 20. His withdrawal was tweeted by Serbian reporter Sasa Ozmo.

To be fair, Djokovic did not appear ready to jump back into playing after his loss to Nardi. He said in the post-match press conference that the Miami Open "is there, so let's see." At the time, one might have assumed his quip was due to his feelings about just losing, but it is now clear he was not sure he would be in Miami.

Still, had Djokovic been playing well before his loss at Indian Wells, lost to Nardi, and then withdrew from the Miami Open, that might be one thing. But based on his performance over the last several months, maybe the drive to still consistently succeed at a high level is not the same for Djokovic. If that is the case, 2024 might not only be Rafael Nadal's final year but Novak Djokovic's as well.

Read more from Lob and Smash