Novak Djokovic Tells CNN “It’s A Pity” He Cannot Play In U.S. This Spring

Tennis: US Open

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic, 35, is absent from the 2023 Sunshine Double which is the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California immediately followed by the Miami Open.

He is training in Dubai and spoke with CNN about his current situation.

Djokovic is not permitted to enter the United States as a nonresident who has not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Efforts to get an exemption for him to play at Indian Wells and Miami were futile as the US Government denied the exemption.

Djokovic says “It’s a Pity” that he cannot play because he, like most of the tennis players on tour, loves the Sunshine Double.

Fans Agree With Novak

For tennis fans, it is a pity that he is not in the US competing this spring.

It is bad enough that Roger Federer is retired, and Rafael Nadal is injured.

All of the Big Three being absent is downright painful.

This is particularly true when we see the younger generation taking strides in their development.

However, the best barometer of their abilities is Djokovic on every surface except clay where Nadal is how they can measure their skills.

Barring a huge issue with COVID-19, Novak should be in New York in August.

The US Government is expected to lift COVID-19 restrictions on or around May 11, 2023.

We hope to see Novak square off against Daniil Medvedev or Carlos Alcaraz, or any of the other next-generation players and Rafael Nadal if he is healthy.

No matter what your political views are, having arguably the best player in the game at the top tournaments is best for the sport.

This is why Miami Open tournament director (and former player) James Blake worked so hard trying to make it happen.

Novak Djokovic Tells CNN

Regarding the issue, Blake said:

“We did all we could. We talked to the government, but that’s out of our hands. We tried to get Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption but that wasn’t able to happen. We’d love to have him, he’s our greatest champion. Unfortunately, that’s way above my pay grade.”

Novak’s fans agree that he is missed and needs to be back on tour as soon as possible.

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