Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from this week’s Indian Wells Masters due to his vaccination status. The World No.1 had applied for a special exemption to bypass the current ruling but it was rejected, meaning he is still unable to enter the United States for at least the next month.
One of few countries still holding out on such rules, any international visitors are required to provide vaccination proof to be guaranteed entry into the country until April 10 at the least.
Last gasp pleas by the USTA appear to have been ineffective in lobbying or could well have been a reminder that pressure will be placed later on should the current end date be pushed back once more. Djokovic’s withdrawal from the Miami Masters has not been announced yet but it would seem it is only going to be a matter of time before that is announced.
While a disappointment for Djokovic’s US fans, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Djokovic. Seeking to finally overtake Nadal in the slam race, he will have a clean schedule heading into clay and further recovery time following a good runout in Dubai even if his unbeaten start to the season was ended.
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