His condition of not being vaccinated against Covid-19 prevents Novak Djokovic from playing tennis in the US: the world No. 1 had to abandon participation in the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. .
“Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the tournament” in the California desert, which is set to begin on Wednesday, organizers announced Sunday evening, in a short press release, saying that Georgian Nikolas Basilashvili will take the Serb’s place. Men’s Table.
“Knoll” has sought special exemptions from local authorities in recent weeks. “If this is denied to me, I will definitely quit Indian Wells, before the draw,” he assured.
He has to comply with that. It is not a mystery why the co-recorder of the number of Grand Slam wins (like Rafael Nadal’s 22) is not mandatory if the authorities do not make their response to his request public.
In recent days, many voices have been heard to plead his case. “It would be a shame in my view if he wasn’t allowed to come,” Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said.
The US Tennis Federation and US Open organizers did their best to support his approach. But without effect.
Djokovic will therefore receive no preferential treatment from Washington, which does not allow unvaccinated international travelers to enter the country. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently indicated that this measure will not change until at least mid-April.
And, in addition to the Indian Wells event, which ends on March 19, unless the situation is reversed, Djokovic will have to forgo participation in the other Masters 1000, the Miami Open scheduled for March 22 to April 2. .
– See you this summer –
The 35-year-old Serb is of course the most famous athlete to have refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Just before the 2022 edition of the major in Melbourne, it caused him some major worries as he was kicked out of Australia in the wake of the judicial soap opera, leaving him unable to compete.
In an insult deemed unfair by Australian authorities, Djokovic had to spend a few days in a detention center before leaving the country for attempting to evade the vaccination obligation then in force in Australia.
In the following months, he was barred from coming to the United States to defend his chances at Indian Wells in the spring and the US Open in the fall. So much so that he last played a tournament on American soil in 2021 at Flushing Meadows, losing to Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final, missing out on a calendar Grand Slam opportunity.
But as a champion, perhaps the greatest champion tennis has ever produced, the Serb bounced back from these setbacks and setbacks, winning Wimbledon last year and above all returning through the front door of the Open entry. Australia won its 22nd major in January.
His frustration at missing out on a sixth title this year at Indian Wells must be greater as he is having one of the best starts to a season of his career with another title in Adelaide before conceding his first defeat in 2023. , this week, in the semi-finals of the Dubai tournament against Daniel Medvedev.
So Djokovic will have to patiently face his problems before hitting balls in America. The hard court tour ends this summer at the US Open.
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”