Djokovic said he would not attend the US tournament due to vaccination status.

Novak Djokovic, one of the world’s most prominent sports stars who has persisted from getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, was introduced to the court for this week’s Indian Wells tennis tournament in Southern California, but said on Wednesday that he could not enter the United States and win neither. participate.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after immigration officials there ruled he was a danger to society because they said he could energize the country’s anti-vaccination movement. As such, he was unable to defend his Australian Open title, which he had won nine times.

Djokovic has expressed his reluctance to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying he doesn’t believe in science. He said the issue was more important to him than adding to the 20 Grand Slam tournaments he had won.

Djokovic told Australian border officials in January that he was not vaccinated, and in a recent interview gave no indication that his status had changed.

Djokovic is the second seed of the tournament. His name and photo appeared on the roster in the main draw for the BNP Paribas Open, which begins Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. While not one of the sport’s four major Grand Slams, this hardcourt tournament is considered one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

In a tweet, Djokovic said the Centers for Disease Control and Protection had confirmed he was barred from entering the United States, and that he would miss tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Under US immigration law, non-citizens as well as non-immigrants must present proof of complete vaccinations as well as a negative coronavirus test to enter the country by air.

Djokovic spent two years as the No. 1 game until February, when he slipped to No. 2.

In his absence, Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open and is one ahead of his rivals as the men’s player with the most Grand Slam wins. Nadal was also listed among the players at Indian Wells, although Roger Federer, who has also won 20 Grand Slam titles, did not.

Last week, officials in France announced that the country would no longer require visitors to show proof of a coronavirus vaccine to enter indoor venues after March 14, most likely paving the way for Djokovic to retain his French Open championship this spring.

Jackson Wintringham

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