Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic applies for ‘special permit’ in last-ditch effort to play Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic has applied for a ‘special permit’ to get entry into the United States for Indian Wells according to his youngest brother, Djordje.

Djokovic is included on the entry list for the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year, but was expected to withdraw with the US not allowing unvaccinated people into the country until May.

However, his brother’s recent admission may give some hope to fans of the Serb, “Novak has to get a special permit, considering that the USA still does not allow entry to unvaccinated people, which is simply incredible because the whole world is open and sports events around the world are held with vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes.”

Djordje, who also used to be a professional tennis player, continued to suggest that his 22-time Grand Slam champion brother would find out his fate very soon, “It is something that unfortunately is not in our hands. There are a few days left until the decision, we are hoping for a positive outcome.”

Novak Djokovic has made it no secret that he is hoping to play in the Californian desert, with the five-time Indian Wells champion also missing out on the event last year.

“You know my position, so it is what it is. I’m hoping (to play), but if I can’t go, I can’t go,” Djokovic said earlier this year at the Adelaide International.

The news of Djokovic’s potential permit comes after the Indian Wells tournament director, Tommy Haas, said that it would be a ‘disgrace’ if the No.1 could not play the event.

It is unclear as to whether the 2023 Australian Open champion also intends to play the Miami Open, of which he has won on six occasions, to complete the sunshine double. The Serb has previously achieved the impressive feat of winning the sunshine double a record four times.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.