Novak Djokovic will not be allowed to play at the 2023 Miami Open. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Tennis star Novak Djokovic will miss yet another event in the United States over his decision to remain unvaccinated for COVID-19. Djokovic will not be allowed to participate in the Miami Open after failing to receive a vaccination exemption, tournament director James Blake told Tennis Channel.
Blake said Miami Open officials spoke with the United States government about granting Djokovic an exemption, but it did not happen. The United States does not allow unvaccinated individuals who were born outside the U.S. to enter the country under its current COVID-19 policy. That policy is expected to be lifted in May. The Miami Open will begin March 22.
Blake made it clear he wanted Djokovic to be able to participate in the event, telling Tennis Channel, “We’d like to have the best players that can play.” Blake said the final decision was “out of our hands.”
Djokovic was also denied an exemption to play in the 2023 Indian Wells Masters, which is being held in California.
Djokovic, 35, is the current No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Djokovic has missed a number of events due to being unvaccinated. He has not played a tournament in the United States for multiple years due to that decision.
Other countries have allowed Djokovic to compete in events. He won the 2023 Australian Open in January. That win pushed Djokovic back into the No. 1 spot in the men’s rankings.