Former American tennis star Chanda Rubin hopes Novak Djokovic won't continue withdrawing late from tournaments where it is pretty obvious that he won't be allowed to play. Djokovic, ranked at No. 2 in the world, appeared in the Indian Wells main draw even though he wasn't at the tournament at the time of the draw was made.
On Wednesday - the day before the start of the tournament - Djokovic confirmed he wasn't allowed entry into the United States due to his vaccination status. "I just hope that going forward, [Novak Djokovic's last-minute withdrawal] isn't the continuing story at the beginning of every tournament where we kind of already know the regulations and requirements that are already in place," Rubin said on Tennis Channel.
"With him so far being unvaccinated, that has been the big issue. Hopefully, he can at least make the decisions that he needs to make without becoming a negative story at the start of these events."
Djokovic's withdrawal impacted the draw
Rubin mentioned she is okay with a player arriving to the tournament and taking his time to decide what to do if he is dealing with some kind of injury.
But in this case - where the player wasn't even present while every other participant arrived - that just wasn't right. "It's one thing if you are a bit injured and you are on site, you are hoping to play, you kind of wait till the last moment.
But in a case like this - you haven't traveled, you're not even on site, you're not in the place where you need to be like training or getting ready for the tournament," Rubin said. "It just seemed unlikely [that he was going to play].
To wait till a day or two before the tournament with the draw already made, that kind of changes everything across the board."