World number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic applied for special permission to enter the United States to play in tournaments due to not be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Djokovic waits compete in march tournaments in Indian Wells, California, and Miami, Florida, after playing in the Dubai Open next week.
«My plans after Dubai depend on the United States. I’m waiting for an answer, it’s not up to me… I’ll know soon,» Djokovic told reporters after practice in Belgrade, according to Reuters.
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«Everything is in the works. I am grateful to the communities of Indians Wells and Miami for their support. They would like me to be able to play in their tournaments… I look forward to a positive decision in the near future, but it is out of my hands.”
In January, the US government extended the vaccination requirement for foreign air travelers until at least April 10.
Djokovic, who won the Australian Open 2023 in January for his 22nd Grand Slam title, he was deported from Australia last year for not being vaccinated.
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He previously stated that he would skip tournaments instead of receiving the vaccine.
Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said in January that it would be a «shame» if Djokovic was unable to compete in the US due to his vaccination status.
«Obviously, the only problem is that he can’t come to the US yet. If he doesn’t play Indian Wells and Miami in March (it’s going to be tough), they’re supposed to lift those mandates in mid-April,» Haas told reporters. . , according to Reuters.
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«It would be nice to see if we could maybe lift that up a little earlier and have him come play Indian Wells and Miami. I think he wants to play, so we should give him the chance. Hopefully we can get him there.» he continued.
«I mean, it would be a shame in my eyes if he didn’t come to these events, or if he wasn’t allowed to come.»
The tournament in Indian Wells is scheduled for March 6-19 and the Miami Open will be played March 20-April 2.