Will now miss next week’s Miami Open
By Ed Emeanua
The US Immigration authorities Friday, denied Novak Djokovic a vaccine exemption effectively slamming the door in his face against his participation in major Tennis events in the country.
Djokovich will no longer compete at next week’s Miami Open after being refused the vaccine exemption that would have permitted him to enter the U.S. without required COVID-19 vaccination, James Blake the director of the tournament announced Friday.
“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption, but that wasn’t able to happen,” Blake told Tennis Channel.
“Obviously, we’re one of the premier tournaments in the world. We’d like to have the best players that can play. We did all that we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.”
Florida State Governor Ron DeSantis and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott were among those that mounted pressure on the Biden administration to let Djokovic to enter the U.S. unvaccinated and take part in the tournament with other Tennis stars without proper disease prevention measures. Djokovich has won the tournament six times.
Djokovic, 35, has also been forced to miss the Indian Wells Masters tournament that is in progress in California, over earlier failure to obtain an exemption from the same U.S. authorities.
The U.S. presently forbids unvaccinated non-Americans from entering the country, a policy that remains in place until the Federal government terminates its COVID-19 emergency policy on May 11.
Djokovic, also missed the Australian Open last year following his deportation from Australia over his non-compliance with the country’s vaccination requirements.
Djokovich has vowed to avoid Grand Slam tournaments rather than get proper COVID-19 vaccine.
He would later go on to win his vaunted record-matching 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January. He has been absent at Indian Wells and the Miami Open since 2019.
A Djokovic publicist stated that the player would not make any more comments over his inability to compete in the Miami tournament and that he now plans to go back to the tour circuit at the Monte Carlo Masters clay-court event that commences on April 9.
Djokovic is billed to focus on his trainings for the French Open in May by playing in the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, Bosnia.