March 22, 2023 1:00 am

(CNN) The world’s best men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic will miss the Miami Open subsequent week, right after becoming denied entry to the United States due to the fact he is unvaccinated against Covid-19, tournament director James Blake announced on Friday.

The United States nevertheless needs international guests to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and the Serbian, who has previously confirmed that he remains unvaccinated, had applied for particular permission to enter the nation ahead of the tournament.

“We attempted to get Novak Djokovic to be permitted to get an exemption, but that wasn’t in a position to come about,” Blake mentioned in an interview with the Tennis Channel.

“Clearly, we’re a single of the premier tournaments in the globe, we’d like to have the finest players that can play. We did all that we could. We attempted to speak to the government, but that is out of our hands.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis mentioned earlier this month he would “run a boat from the Bahamas” for Djokovic to compete in the Miami Open tennis tournament.

DeSantis referred to as on US President Joe Biden to drop the vaccine requirement for international travelers so the 22-time grand slam champion would be in a position to compete.

The 35-year-old Djokovic has missed quite a few other tournaments due to the fact of his vaccination status. Earlier this month, Djokovic withdrew from the ongoing BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California due to becoming denied the exemption. Final year, he missed Indian Wells, the Miami Open and all the tournaments incorporated in the US Open swing.

The Miami Open’s primary draw play begins March 22 and and the tournament ends April two.