Novak Djokovic gives update on plans to compete in the US unvaccinated

Novak Djokovic gives update on plans to compete in the US unvaccinated

Novak Djokovic says he is hoping for a “positive decision” after applying for special permission to enter the United States unvaccinated in order to compete in Indian Wells and Miami next month.

The US vaccine requirement for foreign visitors is not expected to be lifted before the start of Indian Wells on March 9, which means Djokovic is set to miss the prestigious ATP Masters event for the second straight year, as well as the tournament in Miami.

Djokovic was allowed to enter the Australian Open last month after the country relaxed its Covid rules but says his plans to compete in the US for the first time since 2021 remain uncertain.

"My plans after Dubai depend on the US. I’m waiting for a reply, it’s not on me. I will know soon," Djokovic said at a press conference in Belgrade on Wednesday.

"Everything is in process. I’m thankful to the Indians Wells and Miami communities for their support. They would like me to be able to play in their tournaments. I’m looking forward to a positive decision coming soon, but it’s not in my hands."

Djokovic said he had submitted the required documentation for special permission to enter the US.

"Last year I missed Indian Wells, Miami and the US Open swing so it won’t be the first time if it happens (again). I hope it doesn’t," Djokovic said.

"That’s all I can do because my position stays the same. The US Open is still far away so I hope I’ll be able to be there. It’s one of the four biggest events in our sport’s history.

"Of course I’d love to be there. I’ve received the most wonderful support from the New York and American crowd during the 2021 final I lost to Daniil Medvedev. But I experienced something that I never did there before.

"So I want to go back and connect with people and hopefully play my best tennis and get another trophy there."

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said last month it would be a "disgrace" if Djokovic was not allowed to compete in the US in 2023.