Djokovic wants to play in US despite unvaccinated

BELGRADE, SERBIA—Novak Djokovic has asked U.S. authorities for special permission to enter the U.S. to host tennis tournaments in California and Florida, despite not being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. said on Wednesday, February 22.

The Transportation Security Administration says foreign travelers should be fully vaccinated against the disease until at least mid-April.The tournament in Indian Wells will run March 6-19. The Miami Open is scheduled to run from March 20th to April 2nd.

“Right now, everything is going on,” Djokovic said at the training ground in Belgrade. “I have a great desire to be there.

“I am so grateful for the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments. [officials] and the community to publicly support and they want me to be able to play in their tournaments. ”

serbia tennis djokovic
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic listens to questions during a press conference after an open practice session in Belgrade, Serbia on February 22, 2023. (Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo)

Last year, the 35-year-old Djokovic was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open because he had vaccinations. Djokovic returned to the tournament in January after Australia lifted strict vaccination requirements to clinch his 22nd Grand Slam title, tying a record with Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic remained Nadal as his biggest on-court rival on Wednesday despite the rise of 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who topped the rankings until a foot injury kept him out of the Australian Open. said there is.

“[Alcaraz] Definitely the next big thing in our sport or he’s already there. ‘ said Djokovic. “I find it difficult to end the rivalry with Nadal.

“Nadal is my biggest rival and probably will remain my biggest rival in my career.”

Djokovic reached another milestone in his tennis career this week by drawing German great Steffi Gaff at the top of the world rankings for 377 weeks.

“Of course Steffi Graf is one of the greatest tennis legends, men’s and women’s, and someone I have the utmost respect and respect for,” Djokovic said. It’s an honor to be able to do it and potentially break it again next week.”

Djokovic said his next tournament will be next week’s Dubai Open.