Novak Djokovic included in Indian Wells draw despite visa uncertainty
Novak Djokovic has been named in the Indian Wells Masters draw, despite not knowing whether he will be permitted to enter the United States unvaccinated.
In the aftermath of his Australian Open deportation saga, 20-time Grand Slam legend Djokovic reiterated his intention to remain unvaccinated in an interview with the BBC.
Djokovic even went as far as to say that he is willing to sacrifice Grand Slams and other major tournaments as he accepts the consequences of his decision.
With the Serbian icon already missing the Australian Open, there have been doubts over his participation at a number of ATP Masters 1000 events, such as the Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome Masters, but namely the upcoming Indian Wells Masters.
Djokovic had previously stated he was unable to enter the United States to compete in the ‘Fifth Grand Slam’ as all travellers need to provide proof of full vaccination.
However, despite these beliefs, he has been included in the main draw regardless of the uncertainty surrounding his participation.
As such, World number two Djokovic is the second seed and will face either David Goffin or Jordan Thompson.
He has been drawn in the same quarter as three-time Slam ace Andy Murray, World number seven Andrey Rublev and World number 11 Hubert Hurkacz.
Should Djokovic be allowed to compete and then win his opening match and Murray overcomes a qualifier and then Alexander Bublik, the duo will meet for the first time since January 2017, five years.
In a statement published to Twitter, the Indian Wells Masters organisers said “Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today.
“We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country.
“We will provide updates in the future as we learn more.”
Similarly, there is also a section on their website dedicated to requirements that reads “in order to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the 2022 BNP Paribas Open will require all attendees to show valid proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
“To keep all patrons on-site as safe as possible, no exceptions to the vaccination policy will be allowed. All tournament volunteers, staff, sponsors, media, and vendors will be fully vaccinated in accordance with this policy.”
We will provide updates in the future as we learn more.#IndianWells
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 8, 2022
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