Djokovic excluded from Indian Wells Masters

The world number one was denied entry to the United States...

Carly Horne
15th March 2023
Image: Twitter @nypost
Current men's world no. 1, Novak Djokovic, has been forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters in light of his vaccination status. Despite support from the US Tennis Association, Djokovic's application to enter the USA was denied by the Department of Homeland Security just days before the tournament was to begin.

Djokovic told the BBC in 2022 that missing tournaments over his vaccination status was "the price [he is] willing to pay" and pay he has. Following his deportation from Australia last year on account of his vaccination status, Djokovic has been unable to play in a number of tournaments. To date, Djokovic has missed out on The 2022 Indian Wells Masters, The 2022 Miami Open, The 2022 US Open and the 2023 Indian Wells Masters.

The current rules of entry into the USA are that non-U.S. citizen and non-U.S. immigrants must show proof of being fully vaccinated (from a list of approved vaccinations) before boarding a flight to the United States.

Djokovic remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, a disease which has killed 6,866,434 people globally to date. Despite this, the world no.1 remains hopeful about competing in the 2023 Miami Open.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has expressed his support for Djokovic's participation in the 2023 Miami Open saying he would "run a boat from the Bahamas" to allow Novak Djokovic to participate in the upcoming ATP Tour. While DeSantis has called upon US President, Joe Biden, to make an exception for the world no. 1, it should be said that the vaccine mandate is the responsibility of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and not Joe Biden.

And while Djokovic is entitled to the right to make decisions about his own health and body, he should be aware of the fact that rules regarding entry to the USA will make it very difficult for him to play in tournaments in the United States for the foreseeable.

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