France, April 22 -- Tennis world number one NovakDjokovic on Monday confirmed his absence from the Madrid Masters tournament - one of the three most prestigious clay court competitions on the circuit in the prelude to the French Open in Paris.

Djokovic, 36, skipped the Barcelona Open last week after taking part in the Monte Carlo Masters where he reached the semi-finals.

It is believed Djokovic will continue his preparations to defend his French Open crown by competing at the Italian Open which starts in Rome on 6 May.

In Djokovic's absence, Jannik Sinner will lead the seedings in Madrid.

The 22-year-old Italian will open his campaign in the second round either against compatriot Lorenzo Sonego or a qualifier.Doubt

Local hero Carlos ...