Novak Djokovic has confirmed he will miss out on competing in the ATP Masters tournaments over his refusal to be vaccinated.
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Djokovic would not be able to enter the country to play at the tournament at both Indian Wells and Miami in March.
The country’s current regulations require any non-US citizens to be vaccinated in order to enter the United States, as Djokovic is unvaccinated against Covid-19, he will not be allowed entry to the country.
His withdrawal from Indian Wells forced a last-minute reshuffle of the draw, with Grigor Dimitrov, placed into Djokovic’s spot.
Djokovic told fans he “won’t be able to play in the US” in a statement to Twitter.
While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. 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 ????
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) March 9, 2022
Djokovic’s withdrawal from the ATP Masters tournament comes after a tumultuous saga in Australia earlier this year where the tennis star’s visa was cancelled over his vaccination status which prevented him from competing in the Australian Open.
Djokovic’s visa was cancelled after arriving at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport at around 11:30 pm on Wednesday, January 5. Following a court battle on January 10, the tennis star won his battle to stay in Australia and had his visa cancellation overturned. Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the visa cancellation to be overturned claiming it “was unreasonable.”
Following the court’s decision, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced the cancellation of Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time. Hawke said he was cancelling Djokovic’s visa, “on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.
“Today I exercised my power to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds,” he said in a statement.
Djokovic was spotted leaving Australia at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport at 10:30pm on Sunday, January 16 flanked by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers as he boarded an Emirates flight to Dubai.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC in February, the 20-time grand slam champion said missing major competitions, such as French Open and Wimbledon, over his jab status, was “the price that [he is] willing to pay.”
“The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else,” he said.