Novak Djokovic won’t play in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match Feb. 24 in Dubai.
(Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press)

Novak Djokovic, who remained on the entry list and in the draw for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells even though he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus and knew he faced obstacles to enter the United States, said on Wednesday he will not compete in the tournament.

The No. 2-ranked men’s tennis player said via social media that he knew he probably wouldn’t be able to enter the U.S. and that he received verification of that on Wednesday. Earlier this year, he was given an exemption to play in the Australian Open, but his visa was later revoked and he was deported from Australia.

“While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US,” he said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control. “Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”


Ukrainians and Russians will be competing at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, including Ukrainians Dayana Yastremska and Elina Svitolina.

March 7, 2022

He added a fist-bump emoji for emphasis.

Djokovic has lost his status as world No. 1 to Danii Medvedev of Russia. In addition, Rafael Nadal passed Djokovic for the career lead in men’s Grand Slam singles titles, with 21. Djokovic and Roger Federer have each won 20.

BNP Paribas Open organizers said Grigor Dimitrov will move into Djokovic’s space in the draw and a lucky loser from qualifying will move into Dmitrov’s space in the draw when qualifying is completed.