Injured Juan Martin del Potro unable to defend his title at Indian Wells

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina hits a return during his match against Borna Coric at the Shanghai Masters tournament in October.
(Andy Wong / Associated Press)

Juan Martin del Potro, who won the 2018 BNP Paribas Open men’s title and is ranked No. 4 in the world, has withdrawn from this year’s tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Del Potro cited a knee injury as the reason he won’t be able to defend his title. He defeated Roger Federer in the 2018 final.

“I am truly disappointed that I will not be able to return to the BNP Paribas Open to defend my title,” Del Potro said in a statement issued by tournament organizers. “It is one of my favorite tournaments, and I have incredible memories from last year, but my doctors have advised me to rest. I hope to be back on court soon.” On his Twitter account he said he was advised to get regenerative therapy that will keep him off the courts but is hopeful he can play in the subsequent tournament, at Miami.

Del Potro’s withdrawal means Taro Daniel will move into the tournament.

“I fully understand how difficult it can be to deal with injuries, and that coming back from them is not always a straightforward process,” tournament director Tommy Haas said in a statement. “We wish Juan Martin all the best in his recovery, and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year.”