Unvaccinated Djokovic cannot travel to the United States, outside of the Miami Open

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the Miami Open again because he still can’t travel to the United States as an unvaccinated foreign citizen for COVID-19.

Djokovic is off the field for the event which begins next week, a tournament spokesperson said on Saturday. The 35-year-old Serb has won this event six times, most recently in 2016.

Djokovic is No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is tied with Rafael Nadal – who is injured and also won’t be in Miami – at 22 Grand Slam titles, the record for most won by a man. In 2023, Djokovic is 15-1 with two titles, including the Australian Open in January.

But he will now have missed the first two Masters 1000 of the season. He withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ends this weekend, because he could not enter the United States without receiving vaccinations for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In 2022, Djokovic also missed trips to Indian Wells, Miami and the US Open.

In April 2020, as the pandemic raged, Djokovic said he was against requiring vaccinations for travel. He later said he would not be vaccinated even if it meant missing tournaments.

In January 2022, he tried to obtain an exemption to participate in the Australian Open and traveled to Melbourne. But after his case went to court, his visa was revoked and Djokovic was expelled from the country.

Pandemic restrictions have since been eased in Australia, and Djokovic returned this year without issue and won the first major championship of the season.

Meanwhile, Nadal has been sidelined since injuring his left hip flexor in a second-round loss at Melbourne Park. He is aiming to return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters next month.


AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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