Novak Djokovik Tournament officials have formally withdrawn from the draw of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Sunday, a sign that the world No. 1’s application for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption to enter the US could fail. Is.
Djokovic, who is from Serbia and uninsured against COVID-19, applied to the US government last month for special permission to play in ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.
“World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. With his withdrawal, Nikoloz Basilashvili Goes to the ground,” tournament organizers said in a statement.
Play in the joint ATP-WTA tournament begins on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and will go on till March 19. Draw is Monday.
On Friday Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote on twitter That Homeland Security rejected Djokovic’s request for a vaccine waiver. Scott and fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to make the request.
The US is ending its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11, which will allow foreign air travelers to enter the country without getting vaccinated.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday. He has not played in back-to-back events in Indian Wells and Miami, the two biggest tournaments on the ATP calendar, since 2019.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was included in this report.