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Novak Djokovic won’t play at Indian Wells or Miami Open due to his vaccination status

<i>Martin Dokoupil/Getty Images</i><br/>Novak Djokovic returned to the court at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis tournament in Dubai in February.
Getty Images
Martin Dokoupil/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic returned to the court at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis tournament in Dubai in February.

By Issy Ronald, CNN

Novak Djokovic was featured in the men’s singles draw as the No. 2 seed at Indian Wells, but he said Wednesday he won’t be playing in the tournament due to his unvaccinated status.

“While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” the world No. 2 tweeted. “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.”

In the United States — where Indian Wells is held — any non-US citizen must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to receive a visa and enter the country.

“Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open,” tournament organizers said in a statement on Twitter. “As the next player in line to be seeded, Grigor Dimitrov will move into Djokovic’s space in the draw, and a Lucky Loser from qualifying will move into Dimitrov’s space in the draw once qualifying is complete.”

The Miami Open is set to begin March 23.

CNN has reached out to the CDC and the US State Department for comment.

Just weeks ago, Djokovic told the BBC he would be willing to miss tournaments — including the French Open and Wimbledon — if he was not allowed to play in them due to his not being vaccinated against the virus that causes Covid-19.

Djokovic’s comments came following his deportation from Australia in January, preventing his participation in the Australian Open, due to his refusal to take a Covid-19 vaccine.

Before the Australian Open, Djokovic was tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with a record 20 grand slam singles titles. With Djokovic absent at the Australian Open, Nadal went on to win the tournament, his 21st grand slam title and a new record in men’s tennis.

Djokovic’s only tournament action in 2022 came at the Dubai Championships last month, when he lost in the quarterfinals to then-ranked No. 123 Jiri Vesely. This upset led to Daniil Medvedev taking over the world No. 1 ranking from Djokovic.

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CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to this report.

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