Djokovic likely to miss duo of US tennis competitions over Covid-19 rules
Former world No1 tennis star Novak Djokovic is set to miss the Miami Open and Indian Wells in the United States this year due to changes in the country’s Covid-19 vaccination requirements.
The United States have extended its requirement for visitors to prove they’re vaccinated against Covid-19 until 10 April and the Serbian has previously stated that he is still unvaccinated.
Indian Wells – seen as the unofficial fifth Grand Slam – begins in 6 March with the Miami Open – a high-ranking event on the ATP tour – set to get going a fortnight later.
Djokovic missed last year’s US Open over his vaccination status having also been deported from Australia at the beginning of 2021 for the same reason.
The current world No5 is down in Australia preparing for the first Grand Slam of the calendar year after the country changed its entry rules last year – Djokovic will match Rafael Nadal’s number of 22 Grand Slams should he win his 10th Australian Open.
“You can’t forget those events,” Djokovic said recently on what happened to him in Australia last year. “It’s one of those things that sticks with you, it stays with you for I guess the rest of your life.
“It was something that I’ve never experienced before, and hopefully never again.”
It’s 15 years since Djokovic first won Indian Wells – when he beat Mardy Fish in three sets – and six years since he won his fifth title in California.
The Serbian has won six Miami Open titles, too, but has not won at the Florida event since 2017.
The Australian Open gets underway later this month with Djokovic one of the favourites to pick up a Grand Slam title on the hard courts in Melbourne.