World’s top tennis player Novak Djokovic will miss the Miami Open due to vaccination status

From Homero de la Fuente, CNN

The world’s top men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, will miss next week’s Miami Open after he was denied entry to the United States for not being vaccinated against Covid-19, tournament director James Blake announced on Friday.

The United States still requires international visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and the Serb, who has previously confirmed he remains unvaccinated, had applied for a special permit to enter the country ahead of the tournament.

“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to get an exemption, but it wasn’t possible,” Blake said in an interview with Tennis Channel.

“Obviously we are one of the leading tournaments in the world, we want to have the best players to play. We did everything we could. We’ve tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said earlier this month he will “steer a boat from the Bahamas” to allow Djokovic to compete in the Miami Open tennis tournament.

DeSantis urged US President Joe Biden to drop vaccination requirements for international travelers so the 22-time Grand Slam champion can compete.

Djokovic, 35, has missed several other tournaments due to his vaccination status. Earlier this month, Djokovic withdrew from the ongoing BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in California after being denied an exemption. Last year he missed Indian Wells, the Miami Open and all tournaments that are part of the US Open swing.

The main draw of the Miami Open begins on March 22nd and the tournament ends on April 2nd.

The CNN Wire
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