It follows the 22-time Grand Slam champion missing the same events last year and the US Open in September. And sure enough, those not jabbed remain forbidden from travelling to the US, meaning further frustration for Djokovic and his camp.
That’s despite him being backed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), while the official US Open account last week tweeted: “Novak Djokovic is one the greatest champions our sport has ever seen. 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.”
US Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman has also slammed President Biden from persisting with a draconian policy, arguing his travel regulations are costing the country £67 billion. And now Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has written an open letter to Biden urging him to allow the Serbian to play in Miami, with the tournament starting Sunday, March 19.
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“The only thing keeping Novak Djokovic from participating in the Miami Open tennis tournament is President Biden’s misguided and unscientific COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreigner travellers,” he tweeted, alongside images of the letter. “Mr. President – lift your restrictions and let him compete.”
In the letter, DeSantis accused Biden of “pedantic politics” that was going against the will of American tennis fans. “The denial is unfair, unscientific, and unacceptable,” he added, arguing the presence of Djokovic posed no risk to the public.