Indian Wells Open: Djokovic Set To Pull Out Of Tourney

By Daily Sports Nigeria on March 14, 2023

Novak Djokovic is poised to withdraw from the Indian Wells Open as his hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine exemption dwindle, according to reports.
The world No 1’s wish for an exemption for next week’s tournament is fading, with Djokovic admitting on Thursday he will pull out before the draw is made whether or not a decision is confirmed.
There are only five days until the opening Masters competition this season and the 35-year-old has not yet received a response from the US government about his application.
He said: ‘Whatever the decision is, if I’m not allowed, I’m going to pull out, of course, before the draw.
‘Let’s see what the answer is, then I’ll take it from there. I’ll focus right now on the tournament here in Dubai, then we’ll see what’s next.’
The US is the only country on the ATP tour for which players must be vaccinated – though that rule is set to be lifted on May 11 by President Joe Biden’s office – three months before the Grand Slam US Open.
Djokovic missed the flagship US Open and several other competitions in the US last year after the Centre for Disease Control did not ease its regulations. Indian Wells and Miami organisers have urged the government to let him in to the country.
The Serbian did not withdraw from last year’s Indian Wells entry list until after the draw was made, which was controversial given his decision meant the first alternate had to go through qualifying rather than taking his spot, and denied another the opportunity to take the qualifying place.
But this year, he has insisted he will pull out before the draw rather than waiting until shortly before the first match.
His final decision could come on Saturday, after the Dubai Duty Free Championships ends, with the Indian Wells draw on Sunday, a day before the event begins.
If Djokovic does withdraw, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz can go top of the world rankings, but only if he wins the tournament.
The veteran, who is 15 games unbeaten, faces 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the Dubai semi-final on Friday.
British star Emma Raducanu, 20, was handed a Miami Open wildcard spot on Thursday and will also appear at Indian Wells after several other players withdrew.

Source Punch Ng

Posted March 14, 2023


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