Novak Djokovic misses Miami Open due to vaccination status

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Novak Djokovic will miss next week’s Miami Open after being denied an exemption that would have allowed him to enter the US despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, tournament director James Blake said on Friday.

“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to get a waiver, but it didn’t work out,” Blake told the Tennis Channel. “It is clear that we are one of the most important tournaments in the world. We want to have the best players who can play. We have done everything we can. We have tried to talk to the government, but that is beyond our control. “

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott were among those calling on the Biden administration to allow Djokovic to enter the US and compete in the tournament he has won six times .

Djokovic, 35, will also miss the ongoing Masters tournament in Indian Wells, California, due to his inability to secure the waiver.

The US is currently banning unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country, a policy that is expected to be lifted when the government ends its COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11.

Djokovic, who missed last year’s Australian Open after being deported from that country due to his vaccination status, has said he would skip Grand Slams rather than get a COVID-19 shot.

He won his record-breaking 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January. He has not played at Indian Wells or the Miami Open since 2019.

A representative for Djokovic said the player would not comment further on his absence from the Miami tournament and that he planned to return to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters clay court event that begins April 9.

Djokovic will then continue his preparations for the French Open in May by playing in the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, Bosnia.

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