Novak Djokovic is denied entry to the US AGAIN and will miss the Miami Open after organizers tried to get an exemption for the unvaccinated world No. 1
Novak Djokovic will not play at the Miami Open next week after the world number 1 was denied a waiver that would have allowed him to enter the US despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Serb, who is one of the highest-profile athletes not vaccinated against the virus, applied to the US government last month for an exemption to play at ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.
“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to get a waiver but that couldn’t happen,” tournament director James Blake told the Tennis Channel.
“Obviously we are one of the top tournaments in the world, we would like to have the best players that can play.” We did everything we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s two US Senators were among those calling on the Biden administration to allow world number one Djokovic to enter the United States and compete in the tournament he has won. six times.
Novak Djokovic will not play at the Miami Open next week due to the US COVID rules.
Djokovic won his record-tying 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.
The 35-year-old was also forced to miss the ongoing Masters tournament in Indian Wells, California, due to his inability to obtain the waiver.
The US currently bans unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country, a policy that is expected to be lifted when the government ends its COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11. Therefore, he can play at the US Open in the summer.
American comedian and talk show host Bill Maher did not hold back in his criticism of his nation’s COVID rules when Djokovic was forced to withdraw from Indian Wells.
‘He is not vaccinated but has had COVID twice, natural immunity. Again, something we always used to understand was better than the actual vaccine. Somehow that has to be reversed,” he said in a panel discussion.
‘The head of the Miami tournament, I read a quote and he is trying to put Djokovic in. He said: “There does not appear to be any imminent danger.”
‘Imminent danger? Of a man playing tennis? From a man who’s had it twice? In a sport where you are alone, in the middle of a stadium where you are outside in a country where everyone has already had it.
There is no imminent danger. This country is mired in stupidity, it just is.
Djokovic, who missed last year’s Australian Open after being deported from that country due to his vaccination status, has said he would skip Grand Slams instead of getting a COVID vaccine.
He won his record-tying 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January. He hasn’t played in Indian Wells or the Miami Open, which together make up the ‘Double Sunshine’, since 2019.
A representative for Djokovic said the player would not comment further on his absence from the Miami tournament and that he planned to return to the tour at the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters event that begins on April 9.
Djokovic will then continue his preparations for the French Open in May by playing at the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, Bosnia.
The world No. 1 plans to return to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters event on April 9.