Novak Djokovic withdraws from Indian Wells on the eve of a tie

ESPN News Services1 minute reading

Novak Djokovic has formally withdrawn from the draw for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, tournament officials said Sunday, an indication that the world No. 1’s application for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption to enter the United States may have failed.

Djokovic, who is from Serbia and unvaccinated against COVID-19, last month applied to the US government for special permission to play at the 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“World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open.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 moves into the field,” tournament organizers said in a statement.

Play in the combined ATP-WTA event begins on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and runs until March 19. The draw is on Monday.

On Friday, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter that Homeland Security had denied Djokovic’s request for a vaccine exemption. Scott and fellow Florida senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to grant the request.

The United States will end its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11, which will allow foreign air travelers to enter the county without being vaccinated.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday. He has not competed in back-to-back events at Indian Wells and Miami, two of the biggest tournaments on the ATP calendar, since 2019.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was included in this report.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: