Novak Djokovic won't be playing in the US despite his name being put in the draw for the BNP Paribas Open, more popularly known as the Indian Wells Masters.
The current World no. 2 confirmed the development on Twitter, highlighting that his vaccination status is the main reason for his inability to play in the tournament. For that reason, he'll also not be available to play in the Miami Open scheduled to start next week.
Put simply, Djokovic cannot travel to the United States because he is unvaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also confirmed to him that the country's rule requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated won't change any time soon.
“While I was automatically listed in the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won't be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments,” Djokovic tweeted.
The Indian Wells Masters is underway this week, while the Miami Open starts March 21. Novak Djokovic has only played in one tournament this 2022, in the Dubai Tennis Championships where he lost to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals.
Djokovic made headlines this 2022 because of his Australian Open scandal. During a lengthy fight to get a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open, he was detained and eventually sent home–with his efforts ending in vain.
Due to his lack of tournaments, he lost is no. 1 ATP ranking to Daniil Medvedev. It is the first time in two years that he has lost the spot.
It remains to be seen if Djopkovic will be able to play in other tournaments since he has refused to get the vaccine despite the consequences it has brought to his career. Nonetheless, it certainly benefits him that COVID-19 vaccine mandates are being lifted in various parts of the word. For one, it has been reported recently that the likelihood of him being allowed to play in the French Open is increasing because of the said changes in vaccine rules.