World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, reigning US Open Champion Dominic Thiem, 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin, and former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka withdrew from the National Bank Open presented by Rogers announced the tournament on Friday. “It would have been fantastic to have hosted Novak [Djokovic] at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers this year,” tournament director Karl Hale said, according to a press release. However, after a great turnout towards his 20th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and his participation in the Tokyo Olympics, we understand his decision. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season.” Djokovic is a four-time winner of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Canada. He has triumphed in Toronto twice. He will be at Cincinnati and the US Open, but not in Canada, due to the proximity of the tournament to the olympic event, that he is currently competing. Thiem is recovering from a wrist injury he sustained during the grass season, Goffin has an ankle injury and Wawrinka is returning from his second left foot surgery of the year, which he underwent this past month.
Djokovic will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Novak Djokovic is potentially 11 matches away (four in Tokyo and seven at the US Open) from completing the Calendar Golden Slam. “I’m very much aware of that, and I know what’s on the line,” Djokovic said. “There’s a lot of expectations on my back, particularly from Serbia and all the athletes that are following me, and I’m privileged to be in that position to be honest. When you talk about the history of the sport that you truly love, you can’t be just very flat about it. I’m emotionally, obviously very pumped and I’m inspired to make the history of my sport, and sport in general,” he added. “But at the same time it has to be balanced with the short-term goals and routines and ability to be in the present moment and really focus only on the next challenge and the next game. So it’s kind of a mix of the two,” the 34-year-old went on. “I have that guiding star that is there and I see it; it gives me light and it gives me energy. But at the same time I gotta stick to the stuff that I know works well on a daily basis.” He is widely considered the most popular figure competing at the Games this year, and several other famous athletes have taken selfies with him in the Olympic Village.