Djokovic was not Allowed into the US without a COVID-19 Vaccine
The number one tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, will not play in the year's first Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells after authorities in the United States refused him permission to enter the country without a Covid-19 vaccine. The Serbian has withdrawn his bid for the tournament in California, which will take place from March 8 to 19.
"World #1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from participation in 2023. In his place, Nikoloz Basilashvili enters the grouping," wrote the tournament organizers in a statement this morning, shortly before the draw for the main grouping, which also features Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Last month, Djokovic, 35, applied for a so-called special exemption from US health authorities as he remains determined in his decision not to get a coronavirus vaccine. The leading tennis organizations in the USA - the local national federation (USTA), as well as the organizers of the US Open - advocated for him. The emergency epidemic situation in the US expires on May 11, 2023, and only after that date will unvaccinated foreigners be allowed to enter the country without a "special exception".