Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Unvaccinated Djokovic unable to travel to US from Miami Open

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Novak Djokovic has withdrawn again from the Miami Open because he is still unable to travel to the United States as a foreign citizen who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic is off the field for the event, which starts next week, a tournament spokesman 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 level on points with Rafael Nadal – who is injured and also won’t be in Miami – with 22 Grand Slam titles – the record for most titles won by a man. In 2023 Djokovic is 15: 1 with two titles, including at the Australian Open in January.

But he will now have missed the first two Masters 1000 events of the season. He withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ends this weekend, because he was unable to travel to the United States without having received any vaccinations against the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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

Back in April 2020, as the pandemic raged, Djokovic said he was opposed to having to be vaccinated to travel. He later said he would not get vaccinated even if it meant missing tournaments.

In January 2022, he applied for 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 But after his case went to court, his visa was revoked and Djokovic was expelled from the country.

Since then, pandemic restrictions have been eased in Australia and Djokovic returned without issue this year, winning 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 wants to return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters next month.

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TOI.News Team
TOI.News Team
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