Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic’s absence “not gonna change much” success of Indian Wells 2023, per Felix Auger-Aliassime

After Roger Federer’s retirement, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have risen to become the tennis world’s biggest superstars, to the point that their absence has a massive impact on any tournament.

As it stands, they both are set to miss out on the 2023 Indian Wells. However, their rival, the world’s No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliasime believes their absence will not have an impact on the tournament’s success.

This tournament is vital to the tennis stars, notably because the winner has 1000 points available to them, and it is a great opportunity to boost their ranking. Auger-Aliasme believes that there are many other players who can see Rafa and Novak’s absence and rise to the occasion and prove themselves on the court.

“It’s not going to change much, I think. At the end of the day, there is a great field of players in the tournament that’s going to go on, and it’ll be a success,” he said. “You know, I think for tennis, you want all the best players in the tournament. I think even, as a competitor, if I do win a tournament like this one, I wanna feel like there were the best of the best in the draw. Also, it’s not great for anybody that Rafa and Novak are missing” he added.

Rafael Nadal
Felix Auger-Aliassime in the BNP Paribas Open in 2022

What does Taylor Fritz think about Djokovic’s absence?

The 2022 Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz believes Novak’s absence will make the tournament the same as last year. 

“No Novak, but at the end of the day, no one is going to look back at this tournament 10, 20 years from now and be like there’s an asterisk there because these people weren’t playing” he said.

Fritz defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3,7-6(7-5) in the last year’s final to win the men’s single title.

Rafael Nadal
Taylor Fritz(L) denies Rafael Nadal(R) his 37th Masters crown

Why are Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic out of Indian Wells 2023?

Novak Djokovic, who currently sits at the top of the men’s ranking, has withdrawn from the 2023 Indian Wells because of the USA’s Covid-19 regulations for unvaccinated foreigners, which are about to come to an end on May 15th. He was absent from the 2022 BNP Paribas Open because of the same problem.

Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, will be absent from the BNP Paribas Open as well as from the Miami Open due to a grade 2 injury in the iliopsoas muscle on his left leg. It can take up to 8 weeks for him to be back in court. 

Djokovic and Nadal’s absence makes the world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz the top seed, and he will replace Novak in the rankings should he win the tournament. 

Who do you think are the hot favorites to win the 2023 Indian Wells? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments!

Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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