HomeSportsTennisNovak Djokovic hints at Indian Wells disappointment owing to vaccine stance

Novak Djokovic hints at Indian Wells disappointment owing to vaccine stance

Novak Djokovic got his 2022 season underway with a first round win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Duty Free Championships on Monday. The Serb indicated before his match that he is willing to “play anywhere” he is allowed owing to the Covid-19 vaccine rules in place in countries across the world.

The world number one’s decision to remain unvaccinated saw him fail to defend his title at the Australian Open, and his problems could continue going forward in 2022. A number of countries have made vaccination mandatory to enter, which could see Djokovic skip more tournaments going forward.

The first one under threat is the ATP Masters Series event in Indian Wells in March. The United States have made it mandatory for all visitors to be vaccinated, which will prevent Djokovic from entering the country to compete at the prestigious event in California.


Moment of victory: Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Lorenzo Musetti
Karim SAHIB/AFP

“As of today, not. I can’t go, I can’t enter the United States,” Djokovic told reporters after his first round win in Dubai, as quoted on Eurosport. “As of today I’m not able to play. But let’s see what happens. I mean, maybe things change in the next few weeks.”

The Serb is hoping the situation changes, as his absence in Indian Wells could also see him miss a second ATP Masters Series event in quick succession. The Miami Masters gets underway just three days after the conclusion of the event in California, and Djokovic could sit it out as well owing to the vaccine rules.

Djokovic, however, remains adamant that he will not get vaccinated maintaining his right to choose what goes into his body. The 20-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion has accepted his situation, and admitted that he is even willing to skip Wimbledon and the French Open if “that’s the price” he has to pay to stick to his principles.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic with the 2021 French Open trophy
Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP
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