‘Novak Djokovic should play. It’s a disgrace,’ Indian Wells TD insists


Novak Djokovic is yet to lose a match in 2023. The Serb conquered Adelaide and the Australian Open to secure his 22nd Major crown and become world no. 1 at 35. Novak should return to the court in Dubai in a couple of weeks, and it should be his last ATP tournament before April. Djokovic is not allowed to enter the USA in March and compete in Indian Wells and Miami due to his vaccination status. Interestingly, Novak will get the green light to compete at the US Open in August, but he still can not enter the USA in time for the season’s opening Masters 1000 events. The Indian Wells tournament director, Tommy Haas, would love to see Novak in California in a month, calling the decision that keeps him out a disgrace. Djokovic is a five-time Indian Wells champion, claiming 50 victories in the desert and always feeling good at the ‘fifth Major.’

Tommy Haas would love to see Novak Djokovic playing in Indian Wells and Miami.

Novak reached his first Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells 16 years ago, losing to Rafael Nadal. The Serb went all the way a year later and claimed the second title during his incredible 2011 season. Novak was a player to beat in Indian Wells between 2014 and 2016, securing back-to-back titles and standing as the most successful player at the season’s first Masters 1000 event. It was Djokovic’s last notable result in the desert. The Serb fell to Nick Kyrgios before the quarter-final in 2017 and suffered an early loss in 2018 while dealing with an elbow injury. Philipp Kohlschreiber ousted Novak in straight sets in 2019, and it remains Djokovic’s last match at this event. A 22-time Major winner will most likely skip this year’s editions, but he should be able to play any tournament he wants after Miami. Novak missed Indian Wells and Miami in 2022 and will not lose ATP points.  

“It would be nice to see if we could lift those restrictions a little earlier and have Novak playing Indian Wells and Miami. He wants to play, and we should give him a chance. We hope to have him in the USA in March. I mean, it would be a disgrace in my eyes if he is not allowed to come and compete,” Tommy Haas said.

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