Unvaccinated Djokovic may miss US events

Novak Djokovic may be back playing in Australia - but he's set to miss major US events this year again over his COVID-19 vaccination stance.

It follows United States authorities announcing on Wednesday that non-nationals would need to have taken their shots to enter the country.

A statement from the Transportation Security Administration said the requirement for foreign air travellers to be fully vaccinated against the disease would be in place until April 10.

Indian Wells runs from March 6-19 and the Miami Open from March 20-April 2, meaning that Djokovic risks missing the ATP's two major hardcourt tournaments if he continues to decide not to be vaccinated.

The 35-year-old Serb was unable to defend his Australian Open crown last year after being deported from that country on the eve of the major due to his unvaccinated status.

Djokovic, who has won 21 grand slam titles, was also not able to travel to New York for the 2022 US Open without proof of vaccination, the same reason that had forced him to miss tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.

The nine-times Australian Open champion is currently warming up for the 2023 season in Adelaide for the January 16-29 Australian Open, after his three-year travel ban for the country was waived in November.

That decision has opened a path for him to target a 10th title at Melbourne Park and potentially tie Rafael Nadal's mark of 22 majors.

Djokovic, who previously stated he would miss grand slams rather than have the COVID vaccine, said last week that he would never forget how it felt to be deported from Australia but hoped to move on from the incident.

"What happened 12 months ago wasn't easy to digest for some time but at the same time, I had to move on," Djokovic said last week in his first news conference since landing in Australia.