World No.1 Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the season-opening ATP Cup scheduled in Sydney from January 1-9, organisers confirmed on Wednesday. However, Serbia remains in the competition and will be led by World No. 33 Dusan Lajovic.The 34-year-old, who ended the 2021 season as world No.1 for a record seventh time to break the tie with American great Pete Sampras, has kept the ATP organisers guessing about his COVID-19 vaccination status and his pull-out of the multi-nation Cup has also made his Australian Open participation more complex.
Meanwhile, fellow grand slam champions Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have also opted out of the ATP Cup."Russia's Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy have also pulled out and Evgeny Karlovskiy will join the team. Team USA's Austin Krajicek has also withdrawn, and will not be replaced at this time," the ATP said in a statement.The ATP Cup will begin on January 1 at both Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.