Tennis: Monte-Carlo Masters next up for USA-barred Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic won’t feature again before the Monte-Carlo Masters in April, after the world number one withdrew from the Indian Wells Masters due to his vaccination status.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner had difficulties prior to last year’s Monte-Carlo Masters. He was ultimately denied the chance of competing in the first Grand Slam of the calendar year in Australia, and arrived at the prestigious clay-court event at the Monte-Carlo Country Club short of competitive action.

Djokovic out of Indian Wells and Miami Open

This time around, Djokovic was allowed to compete in the Australian Open, a tournament that he ultimately won, but he won’t be allowed to compete in the United States later this month.

Djokovic remains unvaccinated against Covid-19 and the US requires all visitors to be vaccinated; at least up until 10th April. The Indian Wells event, one of the most prestigious tournaments outside of the traditional Grand Slams, has therefore started without the Serbian international.

With Djokovic failing to be granted special permission to compete in Indian Wells, the Monaco resident has also pulled out of the Miami Open, which is due to take place between 20th and 27th March.

Djokovic to make his return on Monaco clay

Following his exit from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships earlier in March, Djokovic said that, should he be refused access to the US, he would take time off and prepare for the Monte-Carlo Masters, which take place between 8th and 16th April.

“If there’s no America, I guess I’ll play clay. Monte-Carlo is probably the next tournament. If that’s the case, I’ll take some time off and prepare,” said Djokovic.

The tournament represents a home event for the Serbian tennis player, who lives year-round in the Principality. Djokovic has won the competition twice, but hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2015. Last year, he was knocked out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round. Djokovic will be hoping to go much deeper into the tournament this time around, with the full list of players set to be released on 13th March.


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