The world No.1, Novak Djokovic, has now officially withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters which is due to start on Thursday.
He made the decision on Sunday which was announced by the organisers, as he has still not been granted the exemption visa which he requires, as he remains unvaccinated and refuses to get immunised against the Covid virus in contravention of the country’s laws which states all foreigners be vaccinated. He’s also now most likely to miss the Miami Masters later this month.
Djokovic is a 5-time Indian Wells champion but hasn’t played the event since 2019. He has also not appeared in the country since the 2021 US Open.
Senator Rick Scott of Florida, said on Twitter that Homeland Security had rejected Djokovic’s vaccine waiver request but that has yet to be officially confirmed.
The 22-time grand slam champion has said he plans to return in Monte Carlos if he’s denied entry to play the forthcoming Master events.
Ironically, the US is ending its COVID-19 emergency declaration on 11 May, which will then allow foreign air travellers to enter the county without being vaccinated.
The draw for the BNP Paribas Open, aka Indian Wells Masters, a combined ATP-WTA event, is due to take place on Monday with Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz expected to be the top men’s seed followed by Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. Both players, though, have been out of recent action nursing injuries so there is some doubt hanging over their appearances.