© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
World No. 1 most recently played at the US Open
“I am sorry I wont get to see my fans in Indian Wells and play in the desert, my favourite place to go,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I hope to see you next year!”
The Serbian is a five-time BNP Paribas Open champion. He last lifted the trophy at the ATP Masters 1000 event — where he has tallied a 50-9 record — in 2016.
“We are disappointed that Novak will not be able to join us at the BNP Paribas Open this fall,” Tournament Director Tommy Haas said. “We hope to see him back in Tennis Paradise next March to contend for a record-setting sixth title in the desert.”
The 34-year-old most recently competed at the US Open, where he fell short in the final against Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic, who won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year, was trying to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the Grand Slam by winning all four majors in a season
The 85-time tour-level titlist has already earned his spot at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals, and he is trying to become the first player to finish year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings seven times.