Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters, also known as the Indian Wells Open and BNP Paribas Open event in California that will be held from 8-19 March.
The US still doesn’t allow unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country.
Djokovic, who is unvaccinated against Covid-19, had applied for an exemption, with parameters for receiving one including if a person’s presence in the US is deemed to be in the national interest of the country.
Record-breaking tennis superstar Djokovic said last month that he had hoped for a positive result on being able to receive special permission to play tournaments in the US, but his visa application to enter the United States had been unsuccessful.
Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili has taken Djokovic’s place in the draw.
In addition to missing Indian Wells and Miami for two consecutive years because of his vaccination status, last year Djokovic was not allowed to compete in the US summer hard-court swing, including the US Open, and he was deported from the Australian Open.
Last week, the US Open said in a tweet that Djokovic is one of the “greatest champions our sport has ever seen,” adding that organizers of the grand slam were “hopeful” his petition to enter the country would be successful.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman commented, “America’s outdated vaccine policy for international visitors is an unforced error that is contributing to an $80 billion loss in foreign traveler spending. Novak Djokovic is merely one of the millions deterred from visiting the United States due to a well-intended but antiquated policy. It is well past time for the United States to join with its peers in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere and remove pandemic vaccine requirements for our inbound travelers.”