Djokovic in draw at Indian Wells, status still up in air

Mar 8, 2022, 2:19 AM | Updated: 4:34 pm
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match at the Duba...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Novak Djokovic was placed in the men’s draw for the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, although it remains to be seen whether the second-ranked player will be allowed to enter the United States.

Djokovic isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. requires visitors to be vaccinated to enter the country. Additionally, tournament officials have said everyone at Indian Wells must be fully vaccinated to be on site.

Djokovic’s name was on the entry list when the men’s draw was made Tuesday, so the five-time tournament champion was included. He received a first-round bye and would play either David Goffin or Jordan Thompson in the second round.

“We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country,” tournament officials said in a statement.

Djokovic’s photo was included on a “We Miss You” wall of players who are absent from Indian Wells.

He last played at a tournament in Dubai last month, losing in the quarterfinals to Jiri Vesely.

He was deported from Australia in January after his visa was canceled on the eve of the Australian Open. Djokovic said a previous COVID-19 infection meant he was exempt from rules stating that all arriving visitors must be fully vaccinated. He was detained in an immigration facility before being ordered to leave.

Meanwhile, Barbora Krejcikova withdrew because of an elbow injury.

The second-ranked Krejcikova said she’s been bothered by the injury since the tournament in Qatar nearly two weeks ago. She said the pain worsened overnight, a day before the Indian Wells event begins.

“I will focus on getting the right treatment as soon as possible and I hope I can be back on the court soonest,” Krejcikova said in a statement.

The 26-year-old from the Czech Republic is the defending champion at the French Open, which begins May 22.

The desert tournament already lost top-ranked Ash Barty, who announced last week that she wouldn’t play since she hasn’t sufficiently recovered after her victory in the Australian Open in January.

Alize Cornet of France moved into Krejcikova’s place in the draw and a lucky loser from qualifying will take Cornet’s place.

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Djokovic in draw at Indian Wells, status still up in air