World number one Novak Djokovic has asked the American authorities for a special permission to enter the US for the tournaments in Florida and California. The 35-year-old is still unvaccinated against the coronavirus.
The Transportation Security Administration has said they will make the vaccine mandatory for foreign air travelers from mid-April in the US. The Indian Wells will start from March 6-19, while the Miami Open is slated to start from March 20- April 2. Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz Registers 1st Win At Argentina Open After Injury
“Everything is currently in the process,” Djokovic said at this training ground in Belgrade. “I have a big desire to be there.
“I am really thankful to the Indian Wells and Miami tournament (officials) and community for their support publicly and they would like me to be able to play in their tournaments.”
Djokovic received flak for not getting vaccinated when the coronavirus was at its peak. He went to play in the 2022 Australian Open but the authorities did not allow him to play in the Grand Slam and he was eventually deported from the country.
After Australia removed its strict vaccine mandate, the Serb returned to the court to lift his 22nd Grand Slam, equaling the record with Rafael Nadal. Also Read: “It’s Unbelievable,” Bjorn Borg On Rafael Nadal’s Training Routine
“Nadal has been the biggest rival,” Novak Djokovic
Spanish great Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have locked horns in several memorable matches. The two stand side by side with the most Grand Slam titles in men’s singles.
But right now, another Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, is on the rise. He recently became world number one, before Djokovic replaced him after his 2023 Australian Open Crown. Alcaraz sustained an injury prior to the Australian Open and did not participate in the major event.
“(Alcaraz) is arguably the next biggest thing in our sport, or he’s already there,” Djokovic said. “I just feel that the rivalry with Nadal is something that is difficult to eliminate.
“Nadal has been the biggest rival and he probably will remain the biggest rival I ever had in my career,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic said he will compete at the Dubai Open next week. He is a five-time winner of the tournament, having won it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2020. Also Read: Novak Djokovic Expected To Miss Out Indian Wells List
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