Novak Djokovic is pulling out of Indian Wells after being denied a COVID-19 vaccine waiver

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Djokovic withdraw from the Paribas BNP Open at Indian Wells on Sunday night, tournament officials announced just a few hours before the tournament draw.

“World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. With his withdrawal, Nikoloz Basilashvili moved into the field,” tournament organizers said in a statement.

Although a formal reason was not explained in that statement, Djokovic, who is currently without a vaccine against COVID-19, recently applied for a special permit from the United States government to play at ATP events Upcoming Masters at both Indiana Wells and Miami. His decision to withdraw from Indian Wells means that the application was rejected by the US government, according to the Associated Press.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote as much on Twitter, claiming that Homeland Security had denied Djokovic’s COVID-19.

Djokovic has not competed in ATP events at Indian Wells and Miami since 2019 due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19. On May 11, the United States is ending its COVID-19 emergency declaration, which allows international residents to enter the country – even if they are not vaccinated against it ‘ a virus.

Djokovic currently has 22 Grand Slam titles and is coming off winning the 2023 Australian Open, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

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