ATP Chairman on Novak Djokovic Indian Wells situation: It's unfortunate for all of us
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 6162
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi thinks it is "unfortunate" for all parties that Novak Djokovic is missing the Indian Wells Masters due to his vaccination status. Djokovic, 35, applied to be granted a special permission to enter the United States as an unvaccinated foreigner.
Unfortunately for Djokovic, his request wasn't granted and he pulled out of Indian Wells. As a result, for the second consecutive year Djokovic is missing Indian Wells just because he wasn't allowed to enter the United States.
"The decision is unfortunate not only for him but for our tournaments and fans, especially given the easing of Covid-19 restrictions around the world and in the US. He is the No. 1 player in the world and everyone in tennis wishes for him to have a chance to compete at our biggest events," Gaudenzi said, per Deccan Herald.
Djokovic officially pulled out of Indian Wells on Sunday
Tommy Haas, a former world No 2, now serves as the tournament director in Indian Wells. Earlier this year, Haas was very honest and direct when asked how he would feel if Djokovic was again denied entry into the United States.
In January, Haas said "it would be a disgrace" if Indian Wells went without Djokovic participating. "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," Haas said earlier this year. In Indian Wells, Djokovic is a five-time champion.