Novak Djokovic set for US rejection in ugly Indian Wells fallout

The World No.1 is set to be rejected from the US again.

Novak Djokovic reacts during the Dubai Tennis Championship.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) appears to be set to have his special request denied to enter the US to play Indian Wells. (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic is set to have his special request to enter the US denied ahead of Indian Wells, according to a US senator. Djokovic didn't play Indian Wells or the Miami Open last year due to the strict US restrictions around unvaccinated visitors entering the country.

The US is set to relax the rules around unvaccinated visitors entering the country on May 11. However, this is set to take place after Indian Wells' main draw on March 9. This prompted tournament director, and former player, Tommy Haas to blast the scenario surrounding Djokovic.

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Djokovic, recently at a press conference, said he put in a special request to enter the US to play at Indian Wells. However, Senator Rick Scott took to social media to claim Djokovic's request has been denied.

Scott called for President Joe Biden to intervene and overhaul the denial so Djokovic can compete at the 'fifth grand slam'. "Joe Biden must fix this now, grant the waiver and allow him to compete here in the states," he wrote.

The update sparked outrage from American tennis players. American tennis star Mardy Fish commented and wrote: "What a joke".

While towering tennis player John Isner slammed the decision. "Don't worry guys, on May 11th he will be deemed safe enough to enter the USA," Isner said in a tongue-in-cheek dig at the restrictions.

John McEnroe has previously stated it would be a shame if Djokovic is still banned from playing tennis in the US by the time Indian Wells arrived. Djokovic was also banned from playing the US Open last year.

Regardless of senator Scott's appeal, it appears unlikely Djokovic will play in the US at the ATP 1000 event in March. The World No.1 might look ahead to the clay court season to prepare for Roland Garros.

Djokovic recently took part in the Dubai Tennis Championship, which saw him lose to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final. The Serbian also recently took over the record for most weeks as World No.1 by either a male or female.

Daniil Medvedev wins Dubai Tennis Championship

Medvedev handed Novak Djokovic his first defeat of the year, beating the World No.1 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships final. The Russian went on to defeat Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

Novak Djokovic shakes hand with Daniil Medvedev.
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) ended his 2023 undefeated streak when he lost to Daniil Medvedev (pictured right) at the Dubai Tennis Championship. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

The Russian suffered a disappointing third-round exit at the Australian Open and reflected on his year to date in his post-match interview. "It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis when you don't win matches you have doubts. Now it just feels better," Medvedev said.

"I was really happy with these three weeks and I am looking forward to the next ones. I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer. Today, I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story.

with AAP

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