World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is formally out of the ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells tournament. His application for special permission to enter the US has been denied, the organizers said on Monday.
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The Serbian great Novak Djokovic last month asked US authorities for special permission to enter the United States despite being unconcerned against the coronavirus. The organizers said in a statement, Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. With his return, Nikoloz Basilashvili has entered the fray. Unvaccinated air travelers are still prohibited from entering the states until mid-May.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner expected to play at Indian Wells and the Miami Open starting on Monday. The US Open and the United States Tennis Association supported him to enter the US, who urged the government to play for the tennis player. The United States still doesn’t allow unvaccinated international travellers to enter the country, with the Transportation Security Administration recently indicating the policy would not change until at least mid-April.
Meanwhile, the Twitter handle of the US Open states that Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest champions the sport has ever had. The USTA and the US Open are hopeful that Novak will be able to enter the country. And fans will be able to see him back in action at Indian Wells and Miami.
Moreover, the 35-year-old missed the Australian Open last year. He couldn’t play in the country due to the status of the Covid vaccination. Novak Djokovic returned to the tournament in January, when Australia dropped its strict vaccine mandate to tie a record with Rafael Nadal to win his 22nd Grand Slam title. However, Djokovic missed both the Australian Open and the US Open last year due to his vaccination status.
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After winning Wimbledon he also missed the US Open last year because of the travel restriction. Novak Djokovic returned to Australia in January, winning the 2023 Australian Open for a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam singles title.