Novak Djokovic’s vaccine stance sparks confusion at Indian Wells

“Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today,” the BNP Paribas Open said in a statement.

“We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC approval to enter the country.

“We will provide updates in the future as we learn more.”

Djokovic was deported from Australia in January despite receiving a medical exemption to defend his Australian Open title as an unvaccinated player.

The Serbian admitted that false information had been included on his entry visa forms in a “mistake”, and that he had knowingly breached self-isolation rules by attending an interview after testing positive for Covid before Christmas.

Djokovic has since said that he is willing to miss other major tournaments rather than be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

He is set to be allowed to play in the year’s next Grand Slam, the French Open at Roland Garros, after the French government eased strict rules requiring a vaccination pass to attend sporting events in the country.

Djokovic’s first match at Indian Wells will not come before Saturday.

Andy Murray, who has progressed as a qualifier into the opening round of the tournament, is a potential third round opponent for his long-time rival should Djokovic be permitted to play.

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Defending champion Cameron Norrie has also received a first-round bye, and is seeded 12th, but finds himself in the same quarter of the draw as Stefanos Tsitsipas and new world number one Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev will play as a neutral athlete after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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