Former American tennis star and current Miami Masters tournament director James Blake admits he knew there wasn't a big chance of seeing Novak Djokovic in Miami this year. In February, Djokovic publicly stated that he is unvaccinated and that he won't be taking the vaccine just so he could be able to play wherever he wants.
Djokovic signed up for the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami but he wasn't allowed entry into the United States. Three weeks ago in Dubai, Djokovic said he was "unlikely" to be allowed entry into the United States.
Djokovic's expectation proved to be true as the Serb was indeed denied entry into the United States due to his vaccination status. “We understood from the beginning that Novak’s participation at the Miami Open was determinant on his early entry into the United States, which we knew would be a long shot,” Blake said.
“We have an incredibly deep and talented player field and look forward to hosting a great event”.
Djokovic announced the news on Twitter
"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. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments," Djokovic wrote on Twitter. Djokovic debuted at the Miami Masters in 2006, when he made the second round.
Djokovic returned to Miami a year later and won his first Miami title after beating Guillermo Canas in the final. Djokovic made his second Miami final in 2009 - in which he ended runner-up to Andy Murray. Djokovic captured back-to-back Miami titles in 2011 and 2012, while he won three titles in a row at the tournament between 2014 and 2016.
Djokovic is a six-time Miami champion and it remains to be seen if he will get a chance to one day again compete at the tournament.