By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, March 17, 2023
The solar has set on Novak Djokovic’s Sunshine Double hopes.
World No. 1 Djokovic won’t play the Miami Open, which begins subsequent week. After withdrawing from this week’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Djokovic’s Miami departure means he’ll miss the Sunshine Double, a swing he is dominated, once more.
Tournament director James Blake informed Tennis Channel, regardless of the efforts of the event, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Djokovic didn’t obtain an exemption to enter the United States.
“We tried to get Novak Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption, but that wasn’t able to happen,” Miami Open event director Blake informed Tennis Channel’s Steve Weissman and Prakash Amritraj on Friday afternoon.
The 35-year-old unvaccinated Serbian celebrity is present unable to enter the U.S. underneath COVID-19 coverage for worldwide vacationers. Restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on May eleventh, which implies Djokovic will likely be eligible to enter the United States, barring any unexpected coverage change, to play the U.S. Open in August.
Blake mentioned the event needs six-time champion Djokovic within the subject, however in the end it is a authorities determination.
“Obviously, we’re one of the premier tournaments in the world, we’d like to have the best players that can play,” Blake informed Tennis Channel. “We did all that we could. We tried to talk to the government, but that’s out of our hands.”
US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz can surpass Djokovic and regain the world No. 1 rating by profitable Indian Wells this weekend. In Djokovic’s absence, Alcaraz would be the prime seed in Miami the place he’s defending champion.
A yr in the past, Alcaraz electrified Miami followers with a rousing run to his maiden Masters title defeating Casper Ruud in the 2022 Miami Open final.
It’s like Djokovic’s subsequent event will likely be his home-away-from dwelling occasion the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which begins on April eighth. Interestingly, rival Rafael Nadal can be on the entry listing for Monte-Carlo.
While Governor DeSantis suggested Djokovic could legally enter the nation by boat, prompting some followers to think about a Djokovic Mission-Impossible-style stealth entry into the States captured by cameras for a future Netflix episode, in the end all doorways to the States are shut to the 22-time Grand Slam champion till mid May.
“We tried, he wasn’t able to play. Same result he had in Indian Wells where I know Tommy Haas did as much as he could with the staff there,” Blake informed Tennis Channel. “We tried to get Novak Djokovic to be allowed to get an exemption, but that wasn’t able to happen.
“We’d like to have him. He’s our best champion: he gained it six instances right here so we might clearly like to have him right here. Unfortunately, that is method above my pay grade.”
Photo credit score: Lindsey Godwin/Miami Open