Top-ranked Djokovic withdraws from Miami Open

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic will skip the Miami Open, saying less than a week after a surprise loss at Indian Wells that he needs to balance his “private and professional schedule.”

Djokovic’s announcement Saturday on his social media accounts follows his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat to unheralded Luca Nardi on Monday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

“At this stage of my career, I’m balancing my private and professional schedule. I’m sorry that I won’t experience some of the best and most passionate fans in the world,” Djokovic wrote.

Nardi, 20, who is ranked No. 123, became the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam or ATP Masters 1000 level event, surpassing No. 122 Kevin Anderson in 2008 in Miami.

The Italian player got into the field as a “lucky loser,” which is a player who stumbles in the qualifying rounds but makes it into the main draw as a replacement for a player who pulls out before the first round.

Djokovic, 36, is a six-time champion in Miami. The hard-court tournament begins next week.

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