Djokovic has dominated the attention of the tennis world, waging a winning battle against the world dominance of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, collecting his second major
Singles title and going unbeaten in his last 26 matches, including 24 this year.
However, the 23 year-old Serb has played the majority of matches in 2011 with supportive strapping on his left knee. He has always maintained the measure was purely precautionary but now it seems the injury is more serious.
Djokovic declared his non-participation in the event where he has reached the semi-finals three consecutive years by announcing on his own personal website: "It is a very sad moment not only for this tournament and my fans, but also for myself.
“This is my favorite tournament and one of my two home events. Monte Carlo is where I spend most of my time away from the circuit and this is my club where I practice and train all year long. Unfortunately I had to take this decision to withdraw and I would like to thank Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic for his understanding and support.”
Djokovic, later added: “So, it was definitely difficult decision but I had to prioritize my health. Now moving on. I will be here in Monaco during the event and will start practicing during the next week, I hope."
In Djokovic’s absence, the spotlight will switch back to world no.1 Rafael Nadal, beaten by the Serb in the finals at Indian Wells and Miami, who is eying a record seventh consecutive title in Monte Carlo and a 19th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.
Roger Federer, who has never won the Monte Carlo title and Andy Murray have both taken late entries into the initial Masters 1000 clay court event of 2011.