After missing last year's Australian Open due to his vaccination status, Novak Djokovic returned to Melbourne Park this year and reached the quarterfinals. The hope of the fans is that the Serbian will be able to play in all the most important tournaments, but he is by no means a given.
The former world number 1 had to miss both Indian Wells and Miami in 2022, as well as the summer Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati. The 21-time Grand Slam champion hoped the rules would change in time for the start of the US Open, but that wasn't the case.
Nole was not even able to participate in the last Grand Slam in 2022, giving way to Carlos Alcaraz. The problem is that the rules for the entry of foreigners into the USA have not yet been changed and Novak risks having serious problems again this year.
According to the latest rumors, the restrictions should only be lifted in mid-April, forcing Djokovic to skip the 'Sunshine Double' Indian Wells will take place from March 6 to 19 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (California), while the Miami Open will begin on March 20 at Hard Rock Stadium (Florida).
Tommy Haas on Nole Djokovic
Tournament chief Tommy Haas said Indian Wells officials are doing “everything” to help Novak Djokovic’s cause and added: “If Djokovic stays healthy, I don’t see how he’s not going to be number one.
“If Novak Djokovic stays healthy, I don’t see how he’s not going to be number one. Obviously the one problem being that he still cannot come to the US If he doesn’t play Indian Wells and Miami in March (it will be tough), they’re supposed to lift those mandates by mid-April.
It would be nice to see if we could maybe lift those a little earlier and have him come to play Indian Wells and Miami. I think he wants to play, so we should give him the chance. Hopefully we can have him there. I mean, it would be a disgrace in my eyes if he wasn’t coming to these events, or not allowed to come”.
Todd Woodbridge has cast doubt over the seriousness of Novak Djokovic's hamstring injury: "It looks a bit dodgy between points but once he starts running there is absolutely no problem with how he is moving. I'm not saying it's gamesmanship, it's pretty obvious he has a bit of a niggle, but at times it looks like it's about to snap off, so he's playing it up nicely here and there, but you know, that's Novak," he told Wide World of Sports.