Novak Djokovic retires after failed bid to play Indian Wells

Senior Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the upcoming BNP Paribas Open after losing his bid to enter the United States unvaccinated to compete in the Southern California event.

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

US Senator Rick Scott said on Twitter that Homeland Security denied Djokovic’s request to waive the vaccine that would have allowed him to play back-to-back games in Indian Wells and Miami, which runs March 19-April 2.

Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic. Credit:AP

The US ends its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11, which allows foreign air travelers to enter the county without vaccination.

After Djokovic was eliminated, Nikoloz Basilashvili moved into the Indian Wells draw.

Djokovic, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, suffered his first defeat of the season in Friday’s semifinal loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

However, he was pleased with his fitness throughout the tournament after returning from a hamstring injury. Djokovic suffered a three-centimetre hamstring tear en route to Adelaide Open victory before claiming his 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open to draw level with Rafael Nadal.

The 35-year-old Serb had a solid run at the ATP 500 event in Dubai before losing to Medvedev 4-6, 4-6.

“I lost to a better opponent. I know I didn’t play well in some crucial moments, but that was also due to his quality in tennis,” Djokovic told reporters. Novak Djokovic retires after failed bid to play Indian Wells

Ryan Sederquist

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