Due to US Covid guidelines, Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Indian Wells and Miami Opens after refusing to be vaccinated.

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Indian Wells and Miami Open, the first two Masters Series events of the year, due to a lack of vaccination against the US coronavirus.

Non-US citizens must obtain a Covid vaccination before entering the country, according to regulations.

The 34-year-old Grand Slam winner was included in the draw for both events, but later tweeted that he understood it was “unlikely” that he would be able to attend.

“I knew it would be improbable that I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic, a Serbian tennis player, wrote.

“Because the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has certified that restrictions will not change, I will not be permitted to play in the United States. Good luck to everyone competing in these fantastic tournaments.”

Novak Djokovic pulls out of Indian Wells and Miami Open due to US Covid rules after refusing to be vaccinated

Djokovic’s participation at the two prestigious US tournaments had been shrouded in uncertainty for weeks given the US travel restrictions.

However, the 34-year-old 20-time Grand Slam singles champion had been named in the men’s draw for Indian Wells on Tuesday despite doubts over his status. “Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today,” tournament chiefs said on Tuesday.

“We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC approval to enter the country.” Djokovic is a five-time champion at Indian Wells, where organisers have said proof of full vaccination will be required for spectator entry to the tournament venue in the California desert.

Djokovic was barred from the Australian Open in January after officials said he did not meet requirements for unvaccinated travellers trying to enter the nation. His visa was eventually canceled and, after a legal appeal failed, he departed without playing.

Indian Wells organisers said Wednesday that Djokovic’s place in the main draw had been taken by Grigor Dimitrov, with a “lucky loser” from qualifying taking the Bulgarian’s berth.


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