Novak Djokovic still hopeful of playing in Miami as Goran Ivanisevic admits: ‘We haven’t given up’

Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic at training

It will be “great for Novak Djokovic and for tennis” if the world No 1 is allowed to compete at the Miami Open, according to his coach Goran Ivanisevic.

As things stand, the unvaccinated Djokovic is not allowed to enter the United States until May 11 as the United States will keep their current Covid-19 regulations in place until then.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner applied for a special exemption to enter the United States, but his pleas fell on deaf ears despite the United States Tennis Association and US Open organisers throwing their weight behind his campaign.

It ruled him out of the Sunshine Double with the first leg currently taking place at Indian Wells and the second leg starting at Miami on March 20.

However, Djokovic and his team have not given up hope of playing in Florida and he has had support from high up the pecking order in terms of politics as Florida Senator Ron DeSantis has called on United States President Joe Biden to allow him to play.

And now former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic, who has coached the six-time Miami Open champion since 2019, says Djokovic still wants to play in the ATP Masters 1000 event.

“We haven’t given up,” he told Tennis Majors. “He wants to play and I would love it if they allow him – it would be great both for him and for tennis. If not, it’s not the end of the world, he didn’t play last year as well.

“The most important thing is that we find out soon, so that we can make a plan.

“Although, in terms of preparing for the European clay court season, I’m not sure playing in Miami is the best solution. It depends on Novak – in the past he has triumphed in Monte Carlo having played in Indian Wells and Miami.

“If he is mentally ready and in his fighter mode, like he was in Australia, then anything is possible.”

If the United States refuses him entry for the Miami Open, then Djokovic will return to action at the Monte-Carlo Masters, which starts on April 20, while he has also signed up for the ATP 250 Srpska Open in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It does mean he will start the clay-court season slightly undercooked as he would have gone more than a month without competitive tennis as his last match was a semi-final defeat to Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Tennis Championships on March 3.

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