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Djokovic ‘used Billie Jean King and government sources’ in US bid



Novak Djokovic left no stone unturned in his failed bid to play at Indian Wells this week, reportedly enlisting some high-profile help to try and get his travel ban overturned. Like last year, the Serbian star is again absent from the BNP Paribas Open, over his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid.

A report in the New York Times Djokovic and his team began a ‘flurry of phone calls and lobbying’ of people they knew who may have connections with the Biden administration – including King. But the process for the time being has been unsuccessful. Some of those who were seeked out reportedly requested anonymity.

The report also adds that Djokovic and manager Edoardo Artaldi also spoke with Ken Solomon, the chief executive of the Tennis Channel and an ally of President Biden. Arguing the 22-time Slam champion should have been given an exemption, Solomon said this week: “Nearly a million fans attend over their combined near four weeks in Southern California then Miami, and the economic impact means many millions in revenue for these local communities, which if successful in attracting fans will either prosper or otherwise cost people jobs.”

The iconic King meanwhile, worked with the Biden administration in 2022 to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Title IX venture, designed to provide equal chances in American sport to young females.

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