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Novak Djokovic picks next tournament after United States refuse visa exception

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC pulled out of Indian Wells and Miami after being told he needed to be vaccinated to travel to the United States.

Novak Djokovic has confirmed his next tournament after being forced out of Indian Wells and Miami. The world No 2 had always admitted it was unlikely he’d be able to play the Sunshine Double but was automatically kept on the entry lists while he sought answers about the entry requirements. He later withdrew after the draw for the BNP Paribas Open was made with him as the second seed after confirming the United States needed him to be vaccinated in order to enter the country.

Djokovic drew controversy when he kept his name in the Indian Wells draw despite knowing he needed to be fully vaccinated to enter the United States and compete.

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After being placed as the second seed to face the winner of a match between Jordan Thompson and David Goffin, the five-time Indian Wells champion confirmed he was withdrawing from both the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open.

“While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” he tweeted.

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“The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments”.

With no intended updates or changes to the CDC guidelines, many believe the world No 2 had looked into the option of getting an exemption from the requirement of being vaccinated to travel, the way he did to enter Australia before ultimately being deported.

Having been ruled out of competing this month, Djokovic has now confirmed when he will return after Indian Wells and Miami.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has added the Monte Carlo Masters as the next tournament on his website.

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The first Masters 1000 of the clay-court season was originally off-limits to Djokovic despite his status as a resident of Monaco.

France has used a Covid vaccine pass only allowing those who are fully vaccinated to enter sporting venues for several weeks, but the country’s Prime Minister recently announced that the pass would be dropped from March 14.

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Monte Carlo tournament director Zeljko Franulovic had previously warned the Serb that he would be unlikely to play the event under the vaccine pass rules, saying last month: “He has to be in order. For the moment, as far as I know, he is not vaccinated. As soon as he is in good health with respect to government regulations, we will welcome him with open arms.”

The first big ATP event of the clay-court swing will be just Djokovic’s second of the year.

After being deported from Australia he finally started his season in Dubai last month, losing in the quarter-finals.

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