'Disgrace' if Djokovic does not compete in US: Tournament director
The Director of the Indian Wells tennis tournament says he hopes the US would lift Covid mandates in order to see Novak Djokovic compete in the country.
Indian Wells tournament Director Tommy Haas considered that it will be "a disgrace" if tennis star Novak Djokovic continues to be barred from the United States because of his stance on Covid vaccines.
The Serb is set to miss prestigious Indian Wells and Miami events in the spring after US authorities extended until April their requirement for international visitors to be vaccinated.
Djokovic, the 21-time Grand Slam champion, missed last year's US Open for the same reason.
Haas told reporters in Melbourne, where Djokovic is into the second week of the Australian Open, that he hopes the United States will follow Australia's lead in changing the rules.
The 35-year-old Djokovic missed last year's Australian Open and was deported because of his Covid vaccine status, but was allowed back this year.
"They're supposed to lift those (US) mandates by mid-April," Haas was quoted as saying by broadcaster Channel Nine.
The Indian Wells tournament Director said that "it would be nice to see if we could maybe lift those a little earlier and have him come to play Indian Wells and Miami."
"I mean, it would be a disgrace in my eyes if he wasn't coming to these events or not allowed to come," he concluded.