Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic named on Indian Wells entry list despite strict vaccination requirement

Novak Djokovic has been named in the entry list for Indian Wells despite the tournament confirming strict vaccination rules.

Djokovic was sensationally deported from Australia last month due to his decision to not be vaccinated against Covid-19.

He claimed a previous infection in mid-December granted him a medical exemption, although the legitimacy of his medical record has been questioned by journalists around the world.

Djokovic is due to return to the ATP Tour in Dubai later this month, but he may be risking another vaccination drama by entering Indian Wells.

The tournament – often nicknamed the ‘fifth Grand Slam’ due to its prestige – has moved back to its usual March slot after being badly affected by Covid-19 restrictions in the previous two years.

“The BNP Paribas Open will require valid proof of full vaccination to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the tournament,” a statement by the tournament organisers read.

“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 travellers entering the country.”

Currently, US law says all foreign travellers must be vaccinated to enter the country and insist exceptions to that rule are ‘very limited’.

“The presidential proclamation and CDC order include a very limited set of exceptions from the vaccination requirement for foreign nationals,” the US Department of State says on their website.

“These include exceptions for children, certain COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, those with rare medical contraindications to the vaccines, those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons, those who are traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low-vaccine availability, members of the armed forces and their immediate families, airline crew, ship crew, and diplomats.”

The 2021 edition of Indian Wells was held just last October, with Novak Djokovic opting to skip the event.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.