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US government ignores Djokovic’s waiver application once again

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Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic. Photo/Tennis Head
  • Novak Djokovic will miss the Indian Wells Open for a second time
  • Tournament organisers confirmed that Djokovic withdrew from this year’s event
  • Foreigners who have not received the Covid-19 vaccination are not permitted to enter the US

World No 1 player Novak Djokovic will miss the Indian Wells Open for the second time in a row.

Tournament organisers confirmed that Djokovic withdrew from this year’s event due to his unvaccinated status against Covid-19.

Foreigners who have not received the Covid-19 vaccination are not permitted to enter the US. As much the infection rates have reduced tremendously, US lawmakers chose to maintain the current Covid-19 laws in place until May 11.

The Serbian had petitioned the US government for a medical exemption to play in the Sunshine Double since he was already included on the entrance lists for the Miami Open and Indian Wells Open.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Herad Sun

Tommy Haas, the Indian Wells chief said that it would be terrible to deny Djokovic entry this year. The United States Tennis Association and the US Open both publicly backed his application to the US government for a medical exemption.

Unfortunately, he will not compete in the ATP Masters 1000 event in California. Djokovic’s team is yet to confirm that he withdrew from the Florida tournament.

Nevertheless, Djokovic’s application flop for special permission to enter the United States was revealed by Florida Senator Rick Scott on Friday.

Scott in a witty tweet requested US President Joe Biden to address this issue about Djokovic’s waiver.

Djokovic is a six-time Indian Wells champion and last played in 2019 since the tournament was shut off in 2020.

Djokovic is resolute that he will not back down from his refusal to have a vaccination. The vaccine requirement is scheduled to be eliminated on May 11 of this year.

While ATP Tour event organisers and Novak Djokovic himself believed that the decision may be postponed, after it became evident that it wouldn’t, the world No. 1 pleaded with officials to make an exemption to the rules.

Djokovic may decide to play in the Monte Carlo Masters, which he missed last season owing to travel limitations if he misses both ATP 1000 competitions, which puts him at risk of losing his No. 1 ranking.

Speaking to BBC in his first interview after deportation from Australia in 2022, he maintained that he would not be vaccinated.

However, he said that he is not opposed to the vaccination campaign but he won’t stop fighting for the liberty of what goes to his body.

Novak Djokovic net worth 2022

Novak Djokovic Photo/EuroSport

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

He was firm that he was ready to forego playing in major slams if they insists that he be vaccinated.

“The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else,” he added.

Last year, he missed an opportunity to play at the US Open because foreigners were not allowed to enter the US without being vaccinated.

Lobbying by a Serbian caucus based in the US did not give Biden a change of heart. He will only enter the US after the vaccination provision is lifted on May 11.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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