Djokovic ‘denied US entry by Homeland Security’ as Biden request made

Novak Djokovic has reportedly been denied his request to enter American unvaccinated and compete in Indian Wells and Miami, according to Florida Senator Rick Scott. The American politician shared the news late on Friday, claiming that Homeland Security had decided not to let Djokovic into the country and calling on Joe Biden to intervene.

Djokovic has been waiting to learn whether he can compete in next week’s Indian Wells Masters as well as the upcoming Miami Open, with unvaccinated travellers still banned from entering the US until May 11. The Serb’s brother Djordje told Serbian media that the world No 1 had applied for a “special permit” to enter the country and compete – something Djokovic confirmed in a press conference last week.

After losing his Dubai semi-final to Daniil Medvedev on Friday, the 35-year-old confirmed he was still awaiting a decision. But according to Florida’s State Senator, Homeland Security has now denied Djokovic’s request. “BREAKING: We have been told that @DHSgov just denied @DjokerNole’s vaccine waiver request, making him ineligible to compete in the US next week in CA & in the @MiamiOpen,” Rick Scott tweeted later on Friday.

The voter-elected representative then called on President Biden to overturn the decision, adding: “@JoeBiden must fix this NOW, grant the waiver & allow him to compete here in the states.”

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Scott and fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio had previously sent Biden a letter requesting that the government grant Djokovic permission to enter the country and play in Indian Wells and Miami. “It has come to our attention that your administration is in receipt of a request to waive the current vaccine mandate for international travelers entering the United States from top-ranked men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic,” the letter reads.

“We write to urge you to grant the requested waiver, which is necessary to allow Mr. Djokovic to compete in the Miami Open professional tennis tournament held in our home state of Florida beginning March 19, 2023.” After sharing the news that Homeland Security had reportedly denied the request, Senator Scott has since tweeted: “It makes NO SENSE that @JoeBiden says COVID-19 is over but still bars @DjokerNole from competing at the Miami Open because of his bogus vaccine mandate.”

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