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Novak Djokovic says he has ‘no regrets’ missing Miami Open and Indian Wells over vaccination status

Novak Djokovic says he has “no regrets” at not being able to play at Indian Wells and the Miami Open in the US due to his vaccination status.

Djokovic is not allowed to travel to the US because of his decision not to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup trophy following his victory against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 29, 2023.

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On Monday, Djokovic lost his place at the top of the men’s singles rankings – a position the 35-year-old has held for more weeks than any other player – after he missed Indian Wells and the 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz won the tournament.

Djokovic will also miss the Miami Open this week.

“No, I have no regrets,” Djokovic said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “I’ve learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past and I don’t want to do that.

“I also don’t want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment, but of course think about future, create a better future. So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to No. 1.

“I had plenty of success there, but at the same time, it is the conscious decision I made and I knew that there is always a possibility that I won’t go, and it is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year for the US Open.

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“That is the most important tournament for me on the American soil.”

Djokovic reiterated that at this stage in his career, the grand slam events are what matters the most to him and he will wait and see if he can go to New York and play at the US Open.

“Even though I lost that match, I received a lot of love and appreciation from people and I want to go back and I want to reconnect with the crowd there. So that’s something I’m looking forward to and hopefully it will happen.”

For now, Djokovic’s focus has shifted to the upcoming clay court season in Europe.

Of his 22 major singles titles – tying him with Rafael Nadal for the most in men’s tennis – Djokovic has won the French Open, the next grand slam on the tennis calendar, twice.