Djokovic will sit out Miami Open and Indian Wells BNP Paribas tournaments

Due to COVID-19 requirements the former World No 1 is unable to travel to the US

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Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 24, 2022 Serbia's Novak Djokovic wipes his face during his quarter final match against Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 24, 2022 Serbia's Novak Djokovic wipes his face during his quarter final match against Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Novak Djokovic will not be traveling to the United States to play in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The U.S. requires all foreign visitors must be vaccinated before entering the country.

Djokovic will also miss the Miami Open, which gets underway in Key Biscayne, Florida later this month.

On his Instagram account Djokovic said: “As international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will be not be playing in the U.S. I know my fans are looking forward to seeing me play again and I hope to be back playing for them on the tour soon.”

Tournament officials at Indian Wells had seeded Djokovic as the one of the top players in the draw. However his automatic first round bye was contingent upon his visa status to enter the country.

Grigor Dimitrov, will now move into Djokovic’s spot in the draw, and an additional player from qualifying will take Dimitrov’s original slot.

FILE PHOTO: ON THIS DAY -- April 3 April 3, 2011     TENNIS - Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second Miami Masters title with a 4Ð6 6Ð3 7Ð6(4) victory over Spain's Rafa Nadal in Key Biscayne, Florida.     With the victory, Djokovic, who beat Nadal in the Indian Wells final two weeks earlier, extended his unbeaten streak to 26 matches.     Djokovic went on to win the Madrid Masters and Rome Masters before Roger Federer ended his 43-match winning streak in the French Open semi-finals. The Serb became world number one in July that year for the first time in his career. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: ON THIS DAY -- April 3 April 3, 2011 TENNIS - Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second Miami Masters title with a 4Ð6 6Ð3 7Ð6(4) victory over Spain's Rafa Nadal in Key Biscayne, Florida. With the victory, Djokovic, who beat Nadal in the Indian Wells final two weeks earlier, extended his unbeaten streak to 26 matches. Djokovic went on to win the Madrid Masters and Rome Masters before Roger Federer ended his 43-match winning streak in the French Open semi-finals. The Serb became world number one in July that year for the first time in his career. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity/File Photo

“We have an incredibly deep and talented player field,” said James Blake, the tournament director of the Miami Open. “We understood from the beginning that Novak’s participation at the Miami Open was determinant on his entry into the United States, which we knew would be a long shot.”

In 2022, Djokovic has played in only one event, in Dubai in February. He had received a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open in January but after passport inconsistencies his visa was revoked by Australia’s government and he was subsequently deported.

Since he was not able to defend his Australian Open title, he has been replaced by Daniil Medvedev of Russia as the world number one.

Djokovic has said he is prepared to skip playing future Grand Slam events if vaccines are mandated.

Due to the varying regulations in different countries, it is not yet clear when or where he will play his next tournament. The Serb is the defending French Open champion which begins in Paris in May.