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Djokovic steps down after failed bid to play at Indian Wells


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the upcoming BNP Paribas Open, after losing his bid to enter the United States unvaccinated to compete in the Southern California event.

The tournament announced its withdrawal on Sunday evening. The combined ATP-WTA event begins Wednesday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden and ends March 19.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said on Twitter that Homeland Security had denied Djokovic’s request for a vaccine exemption, which would have allowed him to play back-to-back in Indian Wells and Miami, March 19-2 april.

The United States is ending its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11, which will allow foreign air travelers to enter the county without being vaccinated.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.

With Djokovic out, Nikoloz Basilashvili entered the Indian Wells draw.


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