World number two Novak Djokovic in Los Angeles has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, in the player’s latest setback for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Serbian player was automatically entered into the tournament draw, but he said he knew he was unlikely to be able to enter the United States.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that the regulations will not change, so I will not be able to play in the United States,” he wrote. loom in a tweet.
“Good luck to those who play in these big tournaments,” he added, also referring to the Miami Open that takes place at the end of the month.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, ranked 35th in the world, will replace Djokovic in the players list, as the second seed in this year’s first Masters 1000 tournament, which begins on Thursday.
The Serbian, who had already missed the Australian Open in January due to his refusal to be vaccinated, was included in Indian Wells, a tournament he has won five times.
On Tuesday, organizers of Indian Wells, the first Masters 1000 of the season, were surprised to report that Djokovic would join the first-round draw, which he would have won by exemption.
The organization stated that it was in contact with the Serbian team to determine if it could obtain permission to enter the United States, which it did not obtain in the end.
According to government regulations, all travelers who are not US citizens must have a full covid-19 vaccination schedule to enter the country.
Because he was not vaccinated, Djokovic already lost a legal battle in Australia earlier this year, as national authorities revoked his visa and forced him to leave the country without competing in the Melbourne Open, his first. Big smash hits It’s out of season.
In February, Djokovic returned to court in the Dubai Championships, where the UAE does not require vaccination. His elimination in the quarter-finals of that competition caused him to be surpassed by Russian Daniil Medvedev as the number one in the classification from ATP.
Thus, Djokovic, 34, will miss the Indian Wells, which will be held until March 20 in that desert city in California, and the Miami Open, which will take place after that, from March 21 to April 3.
Indian Wells already has practically all the numbers on the track. Among them, Daniel Medvedev and the Spaniards Rav Nadal, who started the year by winning the Australian Open and surpassing the number of titles Big smash hits (21) For Djokovic and Roger Federer.
France eased COVID-19 restrictions this month, and vaccination passports are no longer required from March 14, opening the door for Djokovic to defend his Roland Garros title in May.
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