Unvaccinated Djokovic to miss India Wells and Miami Open tournaments

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

The tennis world number 2, Novak Djokovic will miss the India Wells and Miami Open tournaments over his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic had also been denied entry on two occasions into Australia to compete in the Melbourne Grand Slam over the same incident.

The Serb, adamant to get vaccinated, expected that the COVID-19 regulations would change before the time of the tournaments but was disappointed to hear the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restate that COVID-19 regulations still stand.

The 20 Grand Slam winner, after months of being out of competitive tournaments, returned to action in Dubai Duty Free Cup where he lost to 74th ranked Cech’s Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic, after the defeat to Vesely, lost his number one tennis ranking he held for 361 weeks to Russia’s Danii Medvedev.

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However, the player, being aware of the entry requirements into the United States, took to his wall on Instagram after the US CDC’s report, to exclude himself from the tournaments he has been listed to partake in.

“While I was automatically listed in the @bnpparibasopen and @miamiopen draw, I knew, given the entry requirements to the US, it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel there.

“But as international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change.

“The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will not be playing in the US,” he said.

Following the withdrawal of the world number 2 from the tournament, world number 3, and Bulgaria international, Grigor Dimitrov will take his place in the draws while the lucky loser in the qualifying contest will fill the vacuum left by Dimitrov’s progression.

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