BREAKING NEWS: Ron DeSantis writes to Biden demanding unvaccinated Novak Djokovic be let into the U.S. for the Miami Open – and slams ‘unscientific’ vaccine requirements for foreign travelers
- DailyMail.com obtained a letter the Florida governor sent to Joe Biden
- DeSantis demanded that the president allow an unvaccinated Serbian tennis star to be permitted into the U.S. so he can compete in Florida
- Novak Djokovic is set to withdraw from the Indian Wells Open tournament
Ron DeSantis is demanding that President Joe Biden reverse the denial of entry into the United States for unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic, calling the continued restrictions ‘unscientific.’
The letter, obtained by DailyMail.com, comes the same day DeSantis delivered his State of the State address and increases his national activity as he inches closer to a presidential announcement.
Djokovic is poised to withdraw from the Indian Wells Open in Miami, Florida as his hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine exemption dwindle, according to reports.
‘The denial is unfair, unscientific and unacceptable,’ DeSantis wrote in his letter. ‘I urge you to reconsider.’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is demanding that President Joe Biden ‘reconsider’ his denial for Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic to gain entry into the country for the Miami Open because he does not have the COVID-19 vaccination
Novak Djokovic (pictured) is set to pull out of the Indian Wells Open tournament next week
The world No 1’s wish for an exemption for next week’s tournament is fading, with Djokovic admitting on Thursday he will pull out before the draw is made whether or not a decision is confirmed.
There are only five days until the opening Masters competition this season and the 35-year-old has not yet received a response from the US government about his application.
He said: ‘Whatever the decision is, if I’m not allowed, I’m going to pull out, of course, before the draw.
‘Let’s see what the answer is, then I’ll take it from there. I’ll focus right now on the tournament here in Dubai, then we’ll see what’s next.’
The letter comes as nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S. have been lifted, and the national emergency declaration is set to come to an end in May.
‘It’s time to put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want – let him play,’ DeSantis insisted.
The US is the only country on the ATP tour for which players must be vaccinated – though that rule is set to be lifted on May 11 by President Joe Biden’s office – three months before the Grand Slam US Open.
Djokovic missed the flagship US Open and several other competitions in the US last year after the Centre for Disease Control did not ease its regulations. Indian Wells and Miami organisers have urged the government to let him in to the country.
The Serbian did not withdraw from last year’s Indian Wells entry list until after the draw was made, which was controversial given his decision meant the first alternate had to go through qualifying rather than taking his spot, and denied another the opportunity to take the qualifying place.
His absence gives teenager Carlos Alcaraz (above) the chance to go top of the world rankings
But this year, he has insisted he will pull out before the draw rather than waiting until shortly before the first match.
His final decision could come on Saturday, after the Dubai Duty Free Championships ends, with the Indian Wells draw on Sunday, a day before the event begins.
If Djokovic does withdraw, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz can go top of the world rankings, but only if he wins the tournament.
The veteran, who is 15 games unbeaten, faces 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the Dubai semi-final on Friday.
British star Emma Raducanu, 20, was handed a Miami Open wildcard spot on Thursday and will also appear at Indian Wells after several other players withdrew.
Miami Open chief and ex-player James Blake has urged the US government to let Djokovic in