World number one Novak Djokovic, who is competing for the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the men's singles category, has pulled out of the next month's ATP Toronto event. The decision comes in view of Djokovic's hectic schedule which also includes the Olympics and his chase of a calendar grand slam which will also take him past Roger Feder and Rafael Nadal's grand slam tally of 20 major titles. Currently, the three of them stand tied with 20 titles each.
The Serb has already clinched the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year and is in fine form. If he manages to win gold medal at the Olympics as well as the US Open, then he will be able to emulate Steffi Graf's unrivalled achievement from 1988 when she had swept all four majors along with taking the gold in the women's singles in Seoul.
"It would have been fantastic to have hosted Novak (Djokovic)," said Toronto tournament spokesman Karl Hale.
"However, following a great run to his record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and his participation at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we understand his decision. We wish him all the very best for the rest of the season," he added.
Thiem, Wawrinka also withdraw
Hale added that number 6 Dominic Thiem, number 20 David Goffin, as well as number 29 Stan Wawrinka, have also withdrawn from the competition. While Thiem is currently nursing a wrist injury which he sustained at the Mallorca Championships in Spain last month, Goffin had an ankle injury with Wawrinka undergoing foot surgery.
Earlier, Djokovic had said that he is going to take it "slowly and cautiously" despite being a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics.
"I know it's going to be boring for you guys to hear me say that I will take things very slowly and cautiously and focus on the next challenge," he said.
"But this is the kind of approach that I really need to have because in the past I wasn't probably truly experiencing that approach, and that has backfired on me. I started to feel that there were a lot of distractions around that was influencing my performance," Djokovic, who had won a bronze medal from Beijing in 2008, added.