World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won’t take part in the Miami Open next week, as he was denied entry again to the United States over his lack of vaccination against COVID-19.
The U.S. doesn’t end its COVID-19 emergency declaration until May 11, which is what currently prevents foreigners traveling via plane to enter the country without being vaccinated. Djokovic, from Serbia, previously pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif., for the same reason.
Miami tournament director James Blake confirmed the news to the Tennis Channel in an interview Friday.
“We did all that we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands. We tried, and he wasn’t able to play,” Blake said.
“Same result that he had in Indian Wells, where I know [fellow tournament director] Tommy Haas did as much as he could. We tried to get Novak Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption, but that wasn’t able to happen.
“We’d love to have him, and he’s our greatest champion; he’s won six times here. Unfortunately, that’s way above my pay grade.”
Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott both had appealed to President Joe Biden to grant an exemption for Djokovic, who is tied with Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam wins by a man with 22.
Djokovic, 35, last played in the United States at the U.S. Open in New York in September 2021. He lost to Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the final in straight sets.
Current vaccine rules took effect in October 2021.
–Field Level Media