Novak Djokovic withdraws BNP Paribas Open as US denies entry over COVID-vaccine status


The 22-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic, has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open following US President Joe Biden administration denied his entry to the country, citing the player has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, reported Fox News.

The Homeland Security Department rejected Djokovic’s request for a vaccine waiver. Subsequently, the the 35-year-old player withdrew from the combined ATP-WTA event that begins Wednesday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells in California.

As per details, the event includes matches in both California and Miami, Florida, while runs through 19 March.

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According to the Association of Tennis Professionals, the Serbian player is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.

Republican support: 

Meanwhile, Republican senators – Rick Scott and Marco Rubio – have expressed their support for the Serbian tennis star.

“It has come to our attention that your administration is in receipt of a request to waive the current vaccine mandate for international travelers entering the United States from top-ranked men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic. We write to urge you to grant the requested waiver, which is necessary to allow Mr. Djokovic to compete in the Miami Open professional tennis tournament held in our home state of Florida beginning March 19, 2023,” Fox News quoted the Republicans’ joint letter.

They added, “Mr. Djokovic is a world-class athlete in peak physical condition who is not at high-risk of severe complications from COVID-19. It seems both illogical and misaligned with the opinions of your own administration to not grant him the waiver he requests so that he may travel to the U.S. to compete in a professional event.”

Earlier in 2022, Djokovic did not compete in the U.S. Open due to his COVID-vaccine status. He has been vocal and public about his decision not to get the vaccine.

With agency inputs.

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