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Novak Djokovic could miss Miami Masters, Indian Wells in U.S

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Novak Djokovic to miss two American events
Novak Djokovic to miss two American events. Photo/DNA India
  • Novak Djokovic is likely to miss two American events slated for March
  • He may not play at the Miami Masters and Indian Wells given America’s stringent requirements for Covid-a9 vaccination which he is against

Tennis fans remain in limbo on whether Novak Djokovic will play at two American events – Miami Masters and Indian Wells – later in March.

The confusion stems from his earlier statement that indicates he may not fly to the US for the two events due to his Covid-19 vaccination refusal.

“As of today, not. I can’t go, can’t enter the United States,” he said in an interview. “As of today, I’m not able to play, but let’s see what happens. I mean, maybe things change in the next few weeks,” tennis 365 quotes him.

Vaccination requirements for entry into the United States are rigid. While there have been rumblings that they may be modified in the coming weeks, Djokovic’s chances of entering the country this week appear slim.

On top of that, Indian Wells officials have announced that everyone on-site at their tournament will need to be properly vaccinated against Covid-19.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Netral.News

“In order to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the 2022 BNP Paribas Open will require all attendees to show valid proof of full vaccination against COVID-19,” a statement on Indian Wells official website reads.

“To keep all patrons on-site as safe as possible, no exceptions to the vaccination policy will be allowed. All tournament volunteers, staff, sponsors, media, and vendors will be fully vaccinated in accordance with this policy.”

It remains unclear if the former world No.1 will be removed from the entrance list for the 2022 BNP Paribas Open.

Portuguese player, Joo Sousa’s was expected to be awarded entry to the main draw as the first in line to take Djokovic’s position if the Serbian is ruled out.

His name now appears on the qualifying draw for the Indian Wells event.

But, there is an exemption through appeal for him to play at the Indian Wells. The tournament on its official website states that players who are of national interest could appeal.

But it will be ‘determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)’.

Speaking recently to BBC in a wide-ranging interview, Djokovic said that as far as immunization goes, he is not opposed to it. However, he won’t hesitate to walk away from championships if he is forced to get the Covid-19 vaccination.

He remarked that all he has done is fight for freedom of what goes to his body.

“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” says Djokovic.

He is resolute that he will not defend his Wimbledon and French Open titles this season if he is forced to get vaccinated.

The 20-time Grand Slam Champion explains that everyone must have a right to choose what they feel is appropriate for them.

“The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/The Sports Review

Despite being deported from Melbourne before the Australian Open last month, Djokovic distanced himself from the anti-vaccination movement.

However, he said he is open-minded about vaccination in the future because he understands the world is looking for a solution to end the pandemic.

“I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus.

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