Djokovic included in Indian Wells draw despite uncertain vaccination status

Novak Djokovic, one of the world’s most high-profile sports stars to resist coronavirus vaccination, was included on the court for the I...


Novak Djokovic, one of the world’s most high-profile sports stars to resist coronavirus vaccination, was included on the court for the Indian Wells tennis tournament this week in Southern California, even if there are any doubts about his ability to enter the United States and participate.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in January after immigration officials deemed him a danger to society because they said he could energize the country’s anti-vaccination movement. He was therefore unable to defend his title at the Australian Open, which he won nine times, a record.

Djokovic has expressed his reluctance to get a coronavirus shot, saying he is unconvinced by the science. He said the issue is more important to him than adding to the 20 Grand Slams he has won.

Djokovic told Australian border authorities in January that he was not vaccinated and in recent interviews gave no indication that his status had changed.

Djokovic’s name and photo were on a roster for the main draw at the BNP Paribas Open, which kicks off at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Wednesday. Although not one of the sport’s four Grand Slam tournaments, the hard-court event is considered one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

Djokovic, the tournament’s second seed, has a first-round bye, so he’s not expected to play until Saturday.

Under US immigration law, people who are neither citizens nor immigrants must present proof of full vaccination as well as a negative coronavirus test to enter the country by air.

Djokovic spent two years as the game’s No. 1-rated player until February, when he slipped to No. 2.

In his absence, Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open and edged out his rival as the male player with the most Grand Slam wins. Nadal is also listed among Indian Wells players, although Roger Federer, who has also won 20 Grand Slam titles, is not.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Djokovic included in Indian Wells draw despite uncertain vaccination status
Djokovic included in Indian Wells draw despite uncertain vaccination status
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