Tennis: Novak Djokovic doit renoncer au tournoi d’Indian Wells en raison de son statut vaccinal

The United States prohibits access to its soil for people who are not vaccinated against the COVVI-19. Failing to have obtained a special authorization, the Serb had to declare package.

by the world with AFP

Novak Djokovic will not win a sixth title to Indian Wells this year. In a short press release, Sunday March 5, the organizers of the tennis tournament which begins Wednesday in the Californian desert announced its package for the competition.

The United States for the time being prohibited entry into its territory to people who are not vaccinated against the COVVI-19, as is the case of the Serbian. The latter had requested a special authorization, but it was refused to him. The Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili will take his place in the male table.

The world number 1 had prepared for this possibility, warning that he would withdraw if necessary from the Master 1000 “before the draw”. He had to resolve it. If the authorities have not publicly communicated their response to their request, the reason for this forced absence is hardly a mystery.

In recent days, many voices had been heard to plead his case. “It would be a shame in my eyes if he was not allowed to come,” said Tommy Haas, the director of the Indian Wells tournament. The American Tennis Federation and the organizers of the US Open also supported the Corecordan approach with the number of large chelems won (22, like Rafael Nadal). But without effect.

Djokovic therefore does not benefit from any preferential treatment on the part of Washington, while the American agency responsible for transport in transport (ASD) recently said that the prohibition of territory for people who are not vaccinated against The COVVI-19 would remain in force at least until mid-April.

Unless there is a turnaround, “Nole” should therefore also give up participating in another Masters 1000, that of Miami (Florida), scheduled from March 22 to April 2.

379 weeks at the top

The 35 -year -old Serbian vaccination status has already played tricks on him. He had been expelled from Australia before the 2022 edition of the Melbourne Open, after a judicial and media soap opera. For having tried to circumvent the obligation then in force in the country, with a derogation deemed unjustified by the authorities, he had to spend several days in a detention center, before having to leave the country.

The following months, Djokovic had not been authorized to come to the United States to defend his chances at Indian Wells, in the spring, and to the US Open, in the fall. His last match played on American soil also dates back to the middle finger, in 2021, when he was beaten in the final by the Russian Daniil Medvedev, which deprived him of a large home calendar.

After these setbacks, the Serbian rebounded by winning the 2022 edition of Wimbledon, then by signing a resounding return to the Australian Open in January: its 22 e victory in a tournament of the Grand Chelem, again becoming the world number one in passing.

Novak Djokovic is currently making one of the best starts of the year of his career. At the end of February he became the player – men and women combined – having spent the greatest number of accumulated weeks at the top of world tennis. “Nole” has now spent 379 weeks in total at the top of the ATP ranking, the main male international circuit, a position he had reached for the first time in 2011.