Novak Djokovic news: Fears of fresh debacle as Serbian is on ‘vaccinated-only’ Indian Wells entry list

Novak Djokovic enters the arena

All eyes are on the BNP Par and Novak Djokovic after it was confirmed that the Serbian is on the entry list for the ATP Masters 1000 event which “requires valid proof of full vaccination” against the Covid-19.

Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open crown in January after he was denied entry into the country over his visa paperwork. After winning an appeal against the original decision to revoke his visa, the country’s immigration minister then used his personal powers to cancel his visa for a second time on grounds that allowing him to stay would excite anti-vaccination sentiment.

The Serbian had confirmed in court papers that he was unvaccinated, but his autobiographer Daniel Muksch reported after the hard-court Grand Slam that he could have a change of heart, stating “I think he is getting vaccinated”.

Novak Djokovic news – Is the Serb about to end the saga and get vaccinated?

However, it is believed that he has still not been vaccinated, which raises many questions about his entry into the Indian Wells Masters, which starts on March 7, which is only open to fully vaccinated players.

A statement from tournament organisers said: “The BNP Paribas Open will require valid proof of full vaccination to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the tournament.

“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 travellers entering the country.”

However, as with the Australian Open there is a grey area as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does allow for “limited exceptions”.

“You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply,” the CDC website states.

Djokovic also missed last year’s rescheduled BNP Paribas Open, which took place in October due to the coronavirus pandemic, as he opted to take an extended break after the US Open.