Following his deportation from Australia, Novak Djokovic’s continual refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 might bring him more issues as he has been included on the entry list for Indian Wells in March.
Since December when he competed in the Davis Cup in Madrid, Djokovic has not been able to play.
Recall that he was detained on his arrival in Australia last month when border officials refused to accept the reasons for the medical exemption which was meant to allow him to compete at the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated, then deported from the country after an 11-day legal wrangle.
While rivals Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal are all set to compete in California, Djokovic will struggle to make it to Indian Wells if he continues to eschew the vaccine. The United States requires non-US citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to the country by air, with limited exceptions, meaning that his participation could be a non-starter.
In announcing the player entry lists, Indian Wells’ organisers clarified their stance on competitors’ vaccination status. “With health and safety as the tournament’s top priority, the BNP Paribas Open will require valid proof of full vaccination to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the tournament,” read a statement.
“The guidelines for the players are governed by the protocols established by their respective governing bodies, the WTA and ATP, as well as any restrictions established by the United States of America in regard to the vaccination status of international travelers entering the country.”
The statement made only a brief mention of Djokovic, continuing: “A power-packed lineup of ATP top-10 players will join [Rafael] Nadal in looking to put together a breakthrough performance in Tennis Paradise. 2021 US Open champion and 2022 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev (World No. 2), 2021 Nitto ATP Finals winner Alexander Zverev (World No. 3), and 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas (World No. 4) will each be in search of their maiden title in the desert.
“Reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Cameron Norrie (World No. 13) will look to replicate his extraordinary 2021 title run, in which he won his first Masters 1000 crown. World No. 1 and five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic is also on the tournament entry list.”
Djokovic has kept a relatively low profile on social media since his deportation from Australia, though he did send best wishes to the finalists of the Australian Open at the conclusion of the tournament.
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