Novak Djokovic set to miss Indian Wells & Miami Open as US expands vaccination requirements
Novak Djokovic is currently in Australia – 12 months after being deported from the country
Novak Djokovic is set to miss Indian Wells and the Miami Open after the United States expanded its requirement for international visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Proof of vaccination is required to enter the country until at least April 10, but Serbia’s Djokovic has previously said he is unvaccinated.
Indian Wells and the Miami Open – two of the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar outside of the grand slams – begin on March 6 and 20, respectively.
Former world number one Djokovic, 35, is currently in Australia – 12 months after being expelled from the country ahead of the Australian Open over his vaccination status.
Australia dropped its vaccination requirements in July and Djokovic’s three-year visa ban was lifted in November.
He has reached the second round of the Adelaide International as he continues his preparation for the Australian Open, the first major of the season which begins on January 16.
Djokovic is a nine-time Melbourne champion and is just one Grand Slam title away from Rafael Nadal’s men’s record of 22.
Discussing his experience in Australia in 2022, where he was detained and forced to stay in an immigration hotel, he said: “You cannot forget these events. It’s one of those things that stays with you, it stays with you for me I guess the rest of your life.
“It was something I’ve never experienced before and hopefully never again.”
ZooHouseNews tennis correspondent Russell Fuller
The back-to-back tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami are not only extremely prestigious, but often an important leg to the three Summer Grand Slams.
It’s possible that Djokovic’s absence from those events last year contributed to his quarter-final defeat to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, although there was the added complication that he wasn’t able to play in Australia either.
Djokovic could potentially return to world no.
And with every extension of the US vaccination requirement, the risk of Djokovic missing the US Open in August increases.