Novak Djokovic's fans were left disappointed after tournament organisers confirmed that he had withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells.
Djokovic had been on the entry list for the Indian Wells and Miami Open, but with his US visa application for a special exemption likely to have failed, his participation in the entire Sunshine Double is now in doubt. As of now, he still stays on the entry list for Miami Open, but he may soon withdraw also from that event.
After one of his matches in Dubai, Djokovic confirmed that if he's to withdraw from Indian Wells, he'll certainly do it before the draw, so he doesn't hold up a place of another player, who may compete at the event.
As a 22-time Grand Slam winner, Djokovic's absence will undoubtedly be felt. The Serbian star's recent form has been nothing short of incredible, with him winning the Australian Open, earlier this year and staying unbeaten until the 2023 Dubai Championships semifinals.
Despite Djokovic's impressive record on the court, his US visa issues have been making headlines recently. As an unvaccinated foreigner, he is not allowed to enter the US due to the Covid-19 regulations in place until May 11. However, Djokovic had applied for a special waiver to enter the country to participate in the Sunshine Double.
That seems to be unsuccessful despite backing from the USTA and tournament organizers. Announcing Djokovic's withdrawal in a statement, Indian Wells organizers wrote:
"World No.1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open."