No Novak Djokovic in Indian Wells

Weeks passed, tournaments followed each other and Novak Djokovic is still unvaccinated. It is still causing him problems. Unable to enter the United States, the Serb will not be able to participate in the Indian Wells or Miami Open.

Posted at 5:46 PM
Updated at 7:34 PM.

Catherine Harvey Benard

Catherine Harvey Benard

How long will the saga surrounding Djokovic and his refusal to be vaccinated continue? This is a $1,000 question.

On Tuesday, the 34-year-old was placed in the main draw of the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, California, raising doubts about his ability to compete in the championship. But 24 hours later, on Wednesday night, the tennis player posted on his Twitter account that he had not been granted permission to enter the United States, the current rule that foreign visitors must be fully vaccinated.

The manager in question wrote: “Although I was automatically entered into the draw for the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open, I knew it was unlikely that I would be able to travel.” The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) confirmed that the regulations would not change. So I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these big tournaments. »

Roaring start to the season

It’s normal to have a feeling of deja vu when reading these lines because it’s not the first time he’s been talking about Djokovic for the same reasons since the start of the season.

Let’s get attached.

At the beginning of January, the best tennis player in the world at that time appeared in Melbourne with the goal of participating in the Australian Open. Then he was looking for 21And the A Grand Slam victory, a men’s team record.

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But things did not go the way he wanted. Upon arriving at the airport, Australian customs canceled his visa, with the athlete refusing to confirm or deny whether he had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is where the series began.

Djokovic’s clan then appealed the decision and the tennis player was placed in solitary confinement in a Melbourne hotel, while his case was taken to the Australian court. Then a judge decided that the Serbian would have the right to play in the Australian Open under certain conditions. But Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has not said his last word.

The latter used his discretion to cancel the athlete’s visa again “for reasons of health and public order”. So the tennis player was detained and the legal battle continued further until the judge decided to expel him from the country.

The story had a strong reaction in Serbia. The government, sports authorities and the population protested the expulsion of their national hero, who, according to President Aleksandar Vucic, was “humiliated”.

“Disappointed,” Djokovic confirmed for his part that he wanted “to take some time to rest and recover.”

Meanwhile, Spaniard Rafael Nadal took advantage of his absence from the Australian Open to get 21 pointsAnd the In the Grand Slam, he is ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer on the list.

First tournament

Novak Djokovic finally started his season at the end of February at the ATP 500 Championships in Dubai, where proof of vaccination was not required. In an interview with the British BBC, a few days before the event, he said that he was ready to give up the Roland Garros tournament in May and Wimbledon in June if he could not participate without vaccination.

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He hinted that “the principles that lead to my decision about my body are more important than any title or anything else.”

The Serbs ultimately did not have their best tournament in Dubai. And dominated by Czech Jerry Veseli in the quarter-finals.

“I miss a little bit of playing time,” he said after losing. Shows, I’m still trying to find the rhythm on the pitch. The more matches you play, the better you feel. »

A few days later, the Russian Daniil Medvedev took him to first place in the world. Another blow.

And everything indicates that it is not the last.

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