Novak Djokovic said Tuesday he is excited to be back in Indian Wells to compete at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since 2019 after U.S. travel restrictions related to COVID-19 had kept him away.

The world No. 1 is seeking an unprecedented sixth title at the Masters 1000 event, which begins next week and is regarded as the biggest tennis tournament outside of the four Grand Slams.

"It has been five years, way too long to not be part of the 'Tennis Paradise' tournament, one of the best tournaments in the world without a doubt," Djokovic said in a video from the small, picturesque city in the Southern California desert.