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Djokovic withdraws from U.S. tournament after his bid for a COVID vaccine waiver fails

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Daniil Medvedev during their semi final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 2.
Kamran Jebreili
/
AP
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Daniil Medvedev during their semi final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 2.

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the upcoming BNP Paribas Open, having lost his bid to enter the United States unvaccinated to play in the Southern California event.

The tournament announced his withdrawal on Sunday night. Play in the combined ATP-WTA event begins Wednesday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden and runs through March 19.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said on Twitter that Homeland Security had rejected Djokovic's vaccine waiver request, which would have allowed him to play back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami, which runs March 19-April 2.

The U.S. isending its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11, which will allow foreign air travelers to enter the county without being vaccinated.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.

With Djokovic out, Nikoloz Basilashvili moved into the Indian Wells draw.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press
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