MIAMI (Agencies): World number one Novak Djokovic has failed in his bid to play at next week’s Miami Open after being denied entry to the United States.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner, 35, had applied for special permission to enter the US because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.
The US requires international visitors to be vaccinated and proof will be required until at least 10 April. Djokovic withdrew from the ongoing Indian Wells event for the same reason.
“Obviously, we’re one of the premier tournaments in the world, we’d like to have the best players that can play,” said Miami Open tournament director James Blake.
Speaking to the Tennis Channel, he added: “We did all that we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands. We tried, and he wasn’t able to play.
“Same result that he had in Indian Wells, where I know [fellow tournament director] Tommy Haas did as much as he could. We tried to get Novak Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption, but that wasn’t able to happen.
“We’d love to have him, and he’s our greatest champion, he’s won six times here. Unfortunately, that’s way above my pay grade.” Serbia’s Djokovic missed last year’s US Open because of his vaccination status. Djokovic, who also missed last year’s Australian Open.
and was deported from the country because of his vaccination status, has said he would skip Grand Slams rather than have a Covid-19 vaccination.
He was permitted to travel to Melbourne in January and won a record-extending 10th Australian Open title, tying Rafael Nadal’s men’s record of 22 Grand Slam wins.
Djokovic suffered his first defeat of the season last week when he was beaten in straight sets by Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
He is next set to play on the clay of the Monte Carlo Masters from 9 April.