Novak Djokovic officially withdraws from Indian Wells as he reveals his next tournament
Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the first ATP Masters 1000 of the year, Indian Wells, has been confirmed with the tournament’s social media accounts confirming the news.
Djokovic is not allowed access into the United States of America, until the 11th May, due to being unvaccinated and therefore had to apply for a ‘special permit’ to stand a chance at playing in the sunshine double.
However, this news seems to confirm the reports made by Floridian senator Rick Scott that Djokovic had been denied access to Indian Wells and most likely Miami, that begins in a couple of weeks time.
🚨 BREAKING: We have been told that @DHSgov just denied @DjokerNole's vaccine waiver request, making him ineligible to compete in the US next week in CA & in the @MiamiOpen. @JoeBiden must fix this NOW, grant the waiver & allow him to compete here in the states. https://t.co/TSD10yM8u6
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 3, 2023
The 22-time Grand Slam champion was shown support by the tournament directors of both Indian Wells and Miami, of which he was grateful for, “I’m thankful to the Indian Wells and Miami communities for their support.”
But, the decision was out of Tommy Haas and James Blake’s hands and Djokovic will be replaced by 2021 Indian Wells finalist, Nikoloz Basilashvili.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open.
With his withdrawal, Nikoloz Basilashvili moves into the field.#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/wUcBn5upc7
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 6, 2023
Backing up his word, Djokovic withdrew before the main and qualifying draw, something that he previously got scrutiny for not doing last year.
Tournaments Novak Djokovic has missed out on due to his Covid-19 vaccination status
Novak Djokovic had to miss out on a plethora of big events in 2022, including two Grand Slams.
The US is currently the only country on the ATP tour that requires international travellers to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but this was not always the case.
Here are all of the Grand Slam and Masters 1000 tournament’s Djokovic has not been able to play due to his Covid-19 vaccination status:
- Australian Open
- Indian Wells
- US Open
- Indian Wells
- Miami (still to be confirmed)
Although not guaranteed, Djokovic is likely to remain as No.1 after the sunshine double.
Only Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas can dethrone the Serb, but they would have to win both Indian Wells and Miami to do so, something that has only been done by ten other players – Djokovic being one of them.
Djokovic has had a good start to 2023, winning a 10th Australian Open and only just losing his first match of the year to the in-form Daniil Medvedev, in Dubai.
However, he may not be back on the matchcourt for another month now it has been confirmed that he won’t play Indian Wells and is unlikely to play in Miami.
“If there’s no America, I guess I’ll play clay. Monte-Carlo is probably the next tournament. If that’s the case, I’ll take some time off, I’ll prepare. Clay, as we’ve said, is the most demanding surface. It takes time more than any other surface to prepare for,” said Djokovic.
The Monte Carlo Masters, which Djokovic has won twice, begins on the 9th April and will mark the start of the Serb’s clay court season where he is bidding for a third Roland Garros title and record 23rd Grand Slam.
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