Sports - March 3, 2023

US Open & USTA Support Djokovic’s Bid to Enter US Despite Unvaccinated Status

Novak Djokovic's bid to gain entry to the United States for ATP
Novak Djokovic’s bid to gain entry to the United States for ATP events at Indian wells and Miami received support from the US Tennis Association and US Open organizers on Friday.

The Serbian star is currently barred from entering the United States because he is unvaccinated against Covid-19, but has petitioned US authorities for special permission to enter.

The US Open Twitter feed featured a post on Friday saying American tennis authorities hoped he would be allowed to enter.

“Novak Djokovic is one the greatest champions our sport has ever seen,” the post said. “The USTA and US Open are hopeful that Novak is successful in his petition to enter the country, and that the fans will be able to see him back in action at Indian Wells and Miami.”

The Indian Wells ATP 1000 event begins next Wednesday in the California desert and is followed by the prestigious tournament in Miami.

The United States still doesn’t allow unvaccinated international travellers to enter the country, with the Transportation Security Administration recently indicating the policy would not change until at least mid-April.

Djokovic said in Dubai this week that he was still waiting to hear if the US would give him special permission to enter, telling reporters that he hoped to hear a decision before the Indian Wells draw is conducted on Monday.

“Whatever the decision is before the draw, if I’m not allowed, I’m going to pull out, of course, before the draw,” the world number one said.

Djokovic’s vaccination status saw him deported from Australia shortly before the 2022 Australian Open. After winning Wimbledon he also missed the US Open last year because of the travel restriction.

He returned to Australia in January, winning the 2023 Australian Open for a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam singles title.

He took his match win streak to 20 in Dubai this week before falling on Friday to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.

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