President Biden urged to reconsider ban on Novak Djokovic ahead of Miami Open
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has appealed to United States President Joe Biden to overturn a ban which will see Novak Djokovic miss this month's Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments.
The world number one remains unvaccinated against Covid-19 and submitted a request for special permission to play in the two ATP Masters 1000 events in the US, with Miami set to start in under two weeks.
However, the Serbian has already been forced to withdraw from Indian Wells after his request was denied by American officials.
The US is expected to lift its ban on unvaccinated travellers in May but, in a letter to Biden on Tuesday, DeSantis urged them to reconsider their ban on Djokovic ahead of the Miami Open in his state.
"This denial is unfair, unscientific and unacceptable," DeSantis wrote in the letter, which he posted on social media.
"The only thing keeping Mr Djokovic from participating in this tournament is your administration's continued enforcement of a misguided, unscientific, and out-of-date Covid-19 vaccination requirement for foreign guests.
"I urge you to reconsider. It's time to put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want - let him play."
Florida senator Marco Rubio and Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas are two other figures who have also expressed their desire to see the ban overturned.
Djokovic has been involved in regular controversies as a result of his Covid-19 vaccine stance, previously stating he would be willing to forgo grand slam opportunities rather than have the vaccination.
The 22-time grand slam champion missed the Australian Open last year after being deported over the issue but returned in January 2023 to win his 10th title in Melbourne, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Djokovic has not competed in either the Indian Wells or Miami Open since 2019. He has won Indian Wells on five occasions and is a record six-time winner in Miami.
DeSantis has been tipped a potential Republican presidential candidate who could take on Biden at the 2024 election if he can beat Donald Trump to his party's nomination.