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Djokovic on entry list for vaccinated-only Indian Wells

Serbia's Novak Djokovic. — AP
Serbia's Novak Djokovic. — AP

Los Angeles - The Serbian star is due to return to the tour at the Dubai ATP event from February 21


Published: Wed 9 Feb 2022, 11:47 PM

Top-ranked 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, prevented from playing the Australian Open because he was not vaccinated for Covid-19, is entered in next month’s Indian Wells ATP event.

Djokovic is a five-time champion at Indian Wells, where organisers announced entries Wednesday and said proof of full vaccination will be required for spectator entry into the grounds for the tournament.

The Serbian star was set to try and win a fourth consecutive Australian Open title last month — what would have been his record 21st career major singles crown — but Australian border officials said he did not meet requirements for unvaccinated travellers to enter the nation.

Djokovic’s visa was eventually cancelled and after a legal appeal failed he departed without playing.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who is also on the Indian Wells entry list, won the Australian Open to set the record with his 21st career Slam singles crown.

Organizers at Indian Wells noted in a statement that vaccinations will be required for the event, but also said player protocols for Djokovic and other men’s players will be decided by the ATP in line with US restrictions.

“With health and safety as the tournament’s top priority, the BNP Paribas Open will require valid proof of full vaccination to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the tournament,” it said.

“The guidelines for the players are governed by the protocols established by their respective governing bodies, the WTA and ATP, as well as any restrictions established by the United States of America in regard to the vaccination status of international travelers entering the country.”

Djokovic is due to return to the tour at the Dubai ATP event from February 21.

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