Novak Djokovic Withdraws from Two U.S. Events Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

Novak Djokovic Withdraws from Two U.S. Events Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

Novak Djokovic withdrew Wednesday from the BNP Paribas Open because the U.S. government requires foreign visitors to have a coronavirus vaccination to enter the U.S.A.

The tennis player also said he would likely have to skip the Miami Open unless federal travel restrictions are changed in time to facilitate his travel plans.

“While I was automatically listed in the [BNP Paribas Open] and [the Miami Open], I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic tweeted on Wednesday. “The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing, so I won’t be able to play in the US.”

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

The top-seeded player also addressed the issue on Instagram

“As international COVID regulations are always being amended,” he wrote, “I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will be not be playing in the US. I know my fans are looking forward to seeing me play again and I hope to be back playing for them on the tour soon.”

“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,” James Blake, the tournament director in Miami, said according to ESPN. “We have an incredibly deep and talented player field and look forward to hosting a great event.”

Djokovic has only played one game this year. He was initially cleared to play the Australia Open. Still, since he refused the vaccine, his status caused a legal battle that eventually resulted in his visa being canceled and his free movement in the country blocked. He was ultimately deported from the country.

There were also hints that the player’s feelings on the vaccine contributed to the departure of his long-time coach, Marian Vajda.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston

Warner Todd Huston