Tennis-Djokovic to play doubles in Mallorca ahead of Wimbledon defence


FILE PHOTO: Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 13, 2021 Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

(Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic has taken an unusual route to prepare for his title defence at Wimbledon by confirming his participation in doubles at next week's ATP grasscourt event in Mallorca, Spain.

The Mallorca Championships was originally set to make its debut in 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ATP 250 event will be the first in Spain to be played on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, which starts on June 28.

Organisers announced the Serbian's participation in the tournament on social media on Tuesday.

Djokovic won his fifth Wimbledon crown in 2019 and was unable to defend his title last year with the grasscourt Grand Slam cancelled due to the pandemic.

He picked up his 19th major at the French Open on Sunday and a successful defence at Wimbledon would put him alongside Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal at the top of the list of men's Grand Slam title winners.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Berhampore, India; editing by Ed Osmond)

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