February 1, 2023

Novak Djokovic: ‘Disgrace’ if Serbian tennis star not allowed to enter US and compete, says Haas

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Reuters

Novak Djokovic He may end the year as the top-ranked athlete in the world but it would be a “disgrace” if his chances were affected by not being able to compete in the US due to his unvaccinated status. Indian Wells said tournament director Tommy Haas.

Djokovic missed last year’s Australian Open and was deported from the country for not having a vaccine against Covid.

His three-year visa ban was lifted in November and he has returned to the Grand Slams to win a 10th crown and 22nd major.

The Serbian, however, was unable to travel to New York for the 2022 US Open without proof of vaccination, which forced him to skip the ATP 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami earlier in the year. What did

U.S. officials said this month that the requirement for foreign air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID will remain in place until at least April 10, meaning Djokovic will again miss Indian Wells and Miami.

Haas, also a former world number two, said he hoped the rules would be relaxed soon to allow Djokovic to compete.

“If Djokovic stays healthy, I can’t see how he won’t be number one,” Haas told reporters at Melbourne Park on Monday.

“Obviously the one problem is that he still can’t come to America if he doesn’t play Indian Wells and Miami in March (that would be difficult), so he will pick up the mandate by mid-April.

“It will be good to see if we can maybe pick them up a little bit earlier and get him to play Indian Wells and Miami. I think he wants to play, so we have to give him a chance. Hopefully We can put it there.

“I mean, if he’s not coming to these events, or not being allowed to come, that would be disrespectful to me.”

Haas added that Indian Wells organizers would do “everything” to help Djokovic’s chances of playing there.

Indian Wells runs from March 8 to 19 and the Miami Open from March 22 to April 2.

The 35-year-old has previously said he would rather miss the Grand Slams than take the COVID vaccine.



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