The year 2023 has seen the continuation of the vaccine saga involving the world No. 1 Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic. His decision to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 has led to his being denied entry into the United States. This unfortunate turn of events has forced him to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open, a significant tennis tournament, scheduled to commence in Indian Wells, California.
Despite requesting a vaccine waiver, Djokovic’s request was denied by the Homeland Security. This refusal is in line with the US government’s stringent policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination, which require all individuals entering the country to be fully vaccinated.
Djokovic’s failure to meet this requirement is a significant setback for his career, given that the United States has been a regular stop on the ATP tour.
The current incident is not the first time Djokovic’s vaccination status has caused him to withdraw from a tournament. He has been in the center of controversy surrounding his decision not to be vaccinated since the pandemic began. In 2021, he was disqualified from the US Open due to his failure to follow COVID-19 protocols. Later, he contracted the virus himself and was forced to withdraw from the Olympic games.
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Djokovic’s stance on vaccinations has been met with mixed reactions globally, with some supporting his decision to remain unvaccinated while others criticizing him for undermining global efforts to curb the spread of the virus. His decision has also brought attention to the issue of vaccine mandates in sports and the broader community.
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains to be seen how Djokovic’s decision will impact his career and the broader sporting landscape. Regardless, the saga surrounding his vaccination status is set to continue, with potential consequences for Djokovic and the world of tennis as a whole.