Novak Djokovic gets Grand Slam support in bid to overturn US ban

Novak Djokovic’s hopes of playing at Indian Wells and the Miami Masters have been backed by the country’s governing body for the sport as well as the US Open. The United States doesn’t allow unvaccinated internationals to enter the country still, meaning Djokovic is set to miss out on two of the biggest tournaments on the tennis calendar this month.

But Djokovic and his team have been trying to gain an exemption to travel to the country to play in both Masters 1000 events. The 22-time major champion confirmed last month that he had asked American authorities for special permission to enter the United States, despite not being vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Transportation Security Administration recently stated that the vaccination requirements for internationals would be in place until at least mid-April. “Everything is currently in the process. I have a big desire to be there,” Djokovic said a few weeks ago.

“I am really thankful to the Indian Wells and Miami tournament [officials] and community for their support publicly, and they would like me to be able to play in their tournaments.” And Djokovic’s bid to enter the country and play in the ‘Sunshine Double’ has had the backing of both the US Open and USTA.

“Novak Djokovic is one the greatest champions our sport has ever seen,” the tweet read. “The USTA and US Open are hopeful that Novak is successful in his petition to enter the country, and that the fans will be able to see him back in action at Indian Wells and Miami.”

Time is running out for Djokovic to receive the news he’s hoping for with the Indian Wells draw taking place on March 8. It was just last year when Djokovic put himself on hot water for withdrawing from Indian Wells after the draw was made having had his appeal for an exemption to play rejected.

The ATP Tour sent out an email confirming the penalty for pulling out of the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. It stated that any player who withdrew from the main draw would have a “ranking penalty assessed and be suspended from a subsequent ATP Tour Masters 1000 event”.

“This event shall be the event where the player earned the highest point total during the previous 12 months,” the email continued.

As defending champion of the Paris Masters the year prior, that was set to be the tournament Djokovic would be suspended from. But Djokovic won an appeal to the ATP to overturn the suspension through a tribunal process.

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