Novak Djokovic, the current world No.1 tennis player, has expressed his hopes for positive news regarding his participation in U.S. tournaments, including the Indian Wells and Miami Open that begins next month. The Serbian player has been in the headlines due to his vaccination status. This has led to questions about his eligibility to compete in these tournaments.
"My plans after Dubai depend on the U.S. I'm waiting for a reply, it's not on me… I will know soon. Everything is in process. I'm thankful to the Indians Wells and Miami communities for their support. They would like me to be able to play in their tournaments… I'm looking forward to a positive decision coming soon, but it's not in my hands." Novak Djokovic told reporters after practice in Belgrade.
Djokovic's participation in these tournaments is crucial for the sport, as he is currently the best player in the world. His presence on the court would bring a new level of excitement and interest to these events. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the world of sports, and tennis has not been immune to it. However, the final decision on Djokovic's eligibility will rest with the tournament organizers. They will guide him by the relevant health and safety protocols.
The U.S government will not lift vaccine requirement for foreign air travelers before the main draw begins at Indian Wells on March 9 and the Miami Open later in the month. That means Novak Djokovic could miss out for a second straight year. Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said last month it would be a "disgrace" if Djokovic couldn't compete in the U.S. in 2023 after the Serbian also missed last year's major at Flushing Meadows.
On the other hand, Novak Djokovic has said he would skip Grand Slams rather than have a COVID shot. Earlier, he missed last year's Australian Open due to his vaccine status. "Last year I missed Indian Wells, Miami, and the U.S. Open swing so it won't be the first time if it happens (again). I hope it doesn't. That's all I can do because my position stays the same… The U.S. Open is still far away so I hope I'll be able to be there. It's one of the four biggest events in our sport's history." Novak Djokovic said.
"Of course I'd love to be there. I've received the most wonderful support from the New York and American crowd during the 2021 final I lost to Daniil Medvedev. But I experienced something that I never did there before. So I want to go back and connect with people and hopefully play my best tennis and get another trophy there." He further added.