World number 1 Novak Djokovic withdrew from this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which was announced on Sunday, indicating that his application for a visa to enter the United States was rejected.
Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19said last month that he was hoping for a “positive result” if he could get special permission to play in tournaments in the US, where foreign visitors must be vaccinated to gain entry.
Djokovic’s place in the draw was taken by Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after losing to Daniil Medvedev in Dubai, Australian Open Champion said he was “still waiting for news from America”.
He added: “If there is no America, I think I will play on clay. Monte Carlo is probably the next tournament. If that’s the case, I’ll take a vacation, I’ll get ready.”
CNN contacted Djokovic’s representatives to comment on his departure from Indian Wells, but received no response.
The tournament will start on Monday and end on March 19.
Last week, the US Open reported in tweet that Djokovic is one of the “greatest champions our sport has ever seen”, adding that Grand Slam organizers “hoped” that his application to enter the country would be granted.
Djokovic started the year by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Australian Open. repeating Rafael Nadal’s record of the 22 men’s singles Grand Slam titles of all time.
He could surpass Nadal’s record at the French Open later this year, although the Spaniard will defend his title while still recovering from injury.