Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round of the tournament in Indian Wells.
Indian Wells (USA) – World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia will not compete in the Masters tournament in Indian Wells, which starts on Wednesday. The 22-time Grand Slam champion failed in his bid for an exemption from the coronavirus vaccination, which is mandatory for foreigners entering the United States.
Djokovic's formal withdrawal was announced by the organizers of the prestigious Californian tournament without details on the website. Senator Rick Scott said on Twitter that the Department of Homeland Security rejected Djokovic's request for an exemption from vaccination.
One of the best tennis players in history, who is an opponent of mandatory vaccination against covid-19, will not be able to compete even in the subsequent tournament in Miami. The order banning unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country is not expected to be lifted in the US until May 11.
Djokovic last competed in the prestigious tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, which make up the so-called “Sunshine Double”, in 2019 In the past, he triumphed five times in California and six times in Florida.
Due to the lack of vaccination, the thirty-five-year-old native of Belgrade was not allowed to start at the Australian Open and the US Open last year. After the relaxation of the rules, Djokovic returned to Australia this year and won his 22nd Grand Slam title, equaling Rafael Nadal's record. Only last week, in the semi-finals of the tournament in Dubai, he suffered his first defeat of the season against Russian Daniil Medvedev.