Novak Djokovic in a surprise announcement before returning

Novak Djokovic, pictured here with his wife Jelena in Serbia.

Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena in Serbia. Photo: Getty

Novak Djokovic delighted tennis fans after he announced that he will team up with veteran Israeli Jonathan Ehrlich to play doubles. At the Tel Aviv Open next week.

The 45-year-old will play his last ATP event in front of his home crowd after a long career in which he led his team to the Davis Cup and made them the world No. 5 in doubles.

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Djokovic confirmed this week that he will play doubles alongside the Israeli in the ATP 250 event, to revive the duo after lifting the trophy at the Queen’s Club in 2010.

Djokovic’s only doubles title came with Ellrich 12 years ago, prompting the 21-times Grand Slam champion to team up with his former partner one last time.

“I know this will be your last tournament,” Djokovic said in a video message to Elrich.

“The best memory of my life in doubles was with you. You gave me the pleasure of winning the only doubles title of my life in Queens.

“You have always been so friendly towards me and my team. Everyone loves you and everyone on the tour will miss you.

“I look forward to seeing you in Tel Aviv for ‘Your Last Dances’.”

Novak Djokovic and Jonathan Ehrlich, pictured here after winning the doubles title at Queen's in 2010.

Novak Djokovic and Jonathan Ehrlich celebrate after winning the 2010 doubles title at Queen’s (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Djokovic hasn’t played since winning Wimbledon In July, defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final.

It was Banned from entering the United States And Canada is in the hard-court swing — including the US Open — because of its vaccination status.

he will Joining forces with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray on Team Europe at the Laver Cup this week, before heading to Tel Aviv for his first official ATP event in two months on September 26.

Novak Djokovic raises controversy over the move in Tel Aviv

But his participation in Israel has raised some controversy.

The event in Tel Aviv hasn’t been part of the ATP calendar since 1996, but it was brought back this year after the Chinese swing was scrapped.

It was in Tel Aviv the ATP event between 1978 and 1981, and from 1983 to 1996, and will be back this year after a 26-year hiatus.

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem has also been announced as a participant, as well as superstars Diego Schwartzman and Marin Cilic.

But Djokovic’s decision to play in Tel Aviv provoked a backlash from fans due to the ongoing Israeli conflict with Palestine.

Many believe that Djokovic’s participation is a bad look given the political tensions in the country.

Djokovic has been limited in the events he can play due to his refusal to take a Covid-19 hit, and will be desperate for some much-needed rating points.

In addition to being banned from the US Open, he also missed the ATP 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati in the lead-up to the Grand Slam.

Djokovic slipped to world number 7 in the ATP rankings after missing a number of events throughout the year due to his vaccination status.

He also lost 2,000 ranking points at Wimbledon despite winning the title due to the ATP Tour’s decision to strip the Grand Slam of the ability to award points.

The men’s and women’s tours decided to strip Wimbledon of ranking points after the All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

As he also won the title at Wimbledon in 2021, Djokovic was unable to defend the 2,000 points he earned 12 months earlier and slipped in the world rankings.

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