Cincy round-up: Djokovic pulls out of doubles, WTA top seeds crash

The World No 1 pulled out of doubles due to a neck strain

Novak Djokovic is on the entry list of Indian Wells Masters, which requires players to be fully vaccinated

Novak Djokovic withdrew from the doubles draw of the Western & Southern Open ahead of his first round match on Sunday.

Learn more about doubles tactics with our FREE guide

Djokovic, who had signed up with fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic for the relocated Cincinnati Masters, reportedly pulled out due to a neck strain. The World No 1, however, has not issued an official statement about it yet.

A video published by Serbian website Sport Club shows Djokovic getting treatment on his neck during practice.

Djokovic and Krajinovic have been replaced by Nikola Cacic and Dusan Lajovic in the doubles draw.

Djokovic, 33, had made an incredible 18-0 start to the 2020 season before Covid-19 forced shutdown of the tennis tour for five months.

ALSO READ: I am not here because Rafa pulled out, says Djokovic

The Serb will be hoping to extend his unbeaten streak as he takes on Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in the second round of the singles draw on Monday.

The top eight seeds had received byes into the second round.

Pliskova, Kenin ousted

With six of the top 10 players skipping the US Open and Western & Southern Open, the women’s field was already depleted. The US Open tune-up event lost its top two seeds on Sunday, as Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin went down in straight sets.

ALSO READ: Hope tennis doesn’t bring in fake fans like NBA, says Azarenka

Czech Pliskova slammed down 11 aces but also committed nine double faults in a 7-5, 6-4 second-round defeat to Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova.

Australian Open champion Kenin also struggled to get going after a long layoff, losing 6-1, 7-6(7) to France’s Alize Cornet.

ALSO READ: US Open private housing rent was astronomical, says Murray

Meanwhile, 10th seed Marketa Vondrousova continued her run of poor form as she lost 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 to German qualifier Laura Siegemund in the opening round.