Novak Djokovic will not play in the Miami Open after his vaccination exemption status was denied and he will not be able to enter the country. This will make three straight years where Djokovic does not play in the tournament.
Tournament directory James Blake confirmed the news to Tennis.com.
“Obviously, we’re one of the premier tournaments in the world, we’d like to have the best players that can play,” Blake said. “We did all that we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.”
Djokovic has been trying to get back to playing in United States’ tournaments this year for the first time since 2021, but he’s been unsuccessful. He had to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters, which has been going on for the past few weeks and ends on Sunday.
The United States currently doesn’t allow unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country due to an emergency COVID-19 policy, but it is expected to lift that policy on May 11. That means that Djokovic may return to playing tennis in the United States this summer, including the upcoming U.S. Open.
Blake said both he and Indian Wells Masters director Tommy Haas tried to get Djokovic an exemption, but they were unsuccessful in that attempt.
“We’d love to have him, and he’s our greatest champion,” Blake said. “Unfortunately, that’s way above my pay grade.”