Novak Djokovic to miss Miami Open due to COVID vaccination status, tournament says

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic is set to miss his second US tennis tournament this year, after he was denied entry to the country for not having a vaccine against COVID-19.

Djokovic, 35, will miss the Miami Open starting March 22, tournament director James Black said Confirmed Fridays on the Tennis Channel. Djokovic has. won Miami Open six times – three of them in a row. The most recent win came in 2016.

Black said tournament organizers spoke with federal officials and did their best to get an exception to the U.S. policy. Limits Preventing unvaccinated international travelers from entering the United States

“Obviously, we’re one of the biggest tournaments in the world, we want the best players that can play,” Blake told Tennis Channel. “We did everything we could. We tried to talk to the government but it’s out of our hands.”

Some, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are calling on President Biden to end the vaccination requirement and allow Serbian players to compete in American tournaments again.

At a press conference earlier this month, DeSantis joked that he would sail from the Bahamas to Miami to bring Djokovic to the tournament.

“He poses zero threat to the United States, zero threat to the state of Florida and zero threat to Miami,” the governor said at the time.

Novak Djokovic in action against his opponent at the Dubai tournament
Novak Djokovic in action against Daniel Medvedev during the men’s singles semifinal match on Day Thirteen of Dubai Duty Free Tennis at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 03, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Amin Muhammad Jamali/Getty Images

A spokesperson for the American Tennis Association said this concerned body Saturday that he is “very optimistic” Djokovic will be able to play at the US Open, which starts on August 28.

Chris Widmaier said, “Policies regarding access to the United States are determined by the White House. We sincerely hope that the policy barring Novak Djokovic from entering the United States will be revoked, or eliminated, in the near future.” “There are no COVID-19 restrictions for any players, fans or other participants at the US Open. Novak, one of our sport’s great champions, will be welcome to participate in the 2023 US Open. “

Djokovic is currently tied with Rafael Nadal for the most career Grand Slam titles with 22. In February, he broke the record for the longest tenure at the ATP No. 1 spot by a professional tennis player. Classification After winning the men’s singles title at the Australian Open January – That was a tournament. turned away from 2022 due to non-vaccination.

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