Djokovic is out of the Miami Open for not being vaccinated – 03/18/2023 – Sports
Novak Djokovic will sit out next week’s Miami Open after the Serbian was denied an exemption that would have allowed him to enter the United States despite not having been vaccinated against Covid-19, said tournament director James Blake.
“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to get an exemption, but that didn’t happen,” he said.
“Obviously we are one of the top tournaments in the world, we would like to have the best players that can play. We’ve done everything we can. We’ve tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s two US senators were among those calling on the Joe Biden administration to allow the world number one to enter the country and compete in the tournament he has won six times.
Djokovic, 35, is also missing the ongoing Masters tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., due to his inability to secure exemption.
The US currently bans unvaccinated foreign nationals from entering the country, a policy that is expected to be lifted when the government ends its Covid-19 emergency declarations on May 11.
Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open last year after being deported from that country over his vaccination situation, has said he would skip the Grand Slams rather than get a Covid shot.
He captured his record-tying 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January. He has not played in the Indian Wells or Miami Open, which together form the “Sunshine Double”, since 2019.
A representative for Djokovic said the player would not be commenting further on his absence from the Miami tournament, and he planned to return to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters clay event, which begins on April 9.
Djokovic will continue his preparations for the French Open in May, playing at the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, Bosnia.