Novak Djokovic withdraws from BNP Paribas Open amid visa debacle


World number one Novak Djokovic withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, the tournament announced on Sunday, hinting that his visa application to enter the United States had not been successful.

Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, said last month he had hoped for a ‘positive outcome’ by being able to receive special permission to play tournaments in the United States, where international visitors must be vaccinated. to be able to enter.

Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili took Djokovic’s place in the draw.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after his loss to Daniil Medvedev in Dubai, the Australian Open champion said he was “still waiting for news from America”.

He added: โ€œIf there is no America, I guess I will play on clay. Monte Carlo is probably the next tournament. If so, I will take time, I will prepare myself.

CNN contacted Djokovic’s representatives to comment on his withdrawal from Indian Wells but did not receive a response.

The tournament begins on Monday and ends on March 19.

Last week, the US Open said in a Tweeter that Djokovic is one of the “greatest champions our sport has ever seen”, adding that the grand slam organizers were “hopeful” that his application to enter the country would be successful.

Djokovic started the year by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Australian Open, equaling Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles in the men’s all-time list.

He could surpass Nadal’s record at Roland Garros later this year, although the Spaniard will look to defend his title as he continues his recovery from injury.


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