The restraints due to being unvaccinated continue to hamper Novak Djokovic.
The world’s number two ranked tennis player — recently dropped from the top spot — informed the tennis world on Wednesday that he will not be participating in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, or the late-March Miami Open.
“While I was automatically listed in the [BNP Paribas Open] and [Miami Open] draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”
Per the CDC, visitors to the United States must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
“We understood from the beginning that Novak’s participation at the Miami Open was determinant on his entry into the United States, which we knew would be a long shot,” tournament director of the Miami Open James Blake said. “We have an incredibly deep and talented player field, and look forward to hosting a great event.”
Djokovic became the face of the anti-mandate movement in January, when he was denied entry into the Australian Open due to his vaccination status.
Djokovic first had his visa canceled on January 6 by Australian authorities after he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia.”
The nine-time winner of the Australian Open arrived in Australia Wednesday, January 5, in order to participate in the 2022 Australian Open, and after a lengthy standoff with Australian officials, was told that he would not be allowed into the country. Djokovic’s medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine — which was granted by Tennis Australia and the Victorian government — was the reason for the standoff.
The Victorian government is a state-level authority.
His visa was canceled a second time after Djokovic’s lawyers won an appeal against the federal government. The second cancellation came from Australian Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke, and was due to the risk that his “vaccine skepticism posed a risk to public health and good order of Australian society.’
In an interview with the BBC in February, Djokovic said he was willing to miss out on future tournaments if they required the COVID-19 vaccine in order to compete.
“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” Djokovic told the BBC when asked if he would be willing to miss out on tournaments requiring him to get the jab.
“I was never against vaccination,” he continued, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.”
Tennis’ next major championship will be the French Open in May. As of right now, Djokovic is unable to compete due to France’s vaccine mandate. France is scheduled to drop the rule requiring visitors to show proof of the vaccine at public venues on March 14, however.
Djokovic is the defending French Open champion.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].