Novak Djokovic Jul 8, 2022; London, England, United Kingdom; Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrates after winning his semifinals men s singles match against Cameron Norrie (GBR) on Centre court at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19, tennis star Novak Djokovic has asked American authorities for special permission to enter the United States. The multi-time Grand Slam winner would not currently meet the current requirements, as most foreign travelers are required to be vaccinated against the virus.

Djokovic is seeking special permission to circumnavigate the mandate for foreign air travelers to play in two tournaments — one in Indian Wells, California, which will be played March 6-18, and the Miami Open, which is scheduled for March 20-April 2.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end the requirement, but the White House announced its opposition to the bill. It’s uncertain whether the Senate will take up this issue. Currently, the Biden administration plans to end the COVID public health emergency on May 11, which wouldn’t do much to help Djokovic.

“Everything is currently in the process,” Djokovic said via ESPN at his training ground in Belgrade. “I have a big desire to be there.

“I am really thankful to the Indian Wells and Miami tournament [officials] and community for their support publicly, and they would like me to be able to play in their tournaments.”

Djokovic remains one of the most outspoken unvaccinated athletes in the world. Whether he’s granted permission to enter the United States next month remains to be seen, but he does plan to play in the Dubai Open next week.

[Reuters, ESPN]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.