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‘Disgrace’ if Djokovic not able to play in US, says Haas

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas says it will be “a disgrace” if 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.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 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, a former player who reached a career high of two in the world, was quoted as saying by broadcaster Channel Nine.

“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 think he wants to play, so we should give him the chance. Hopefully we can have him there.

“I mean, it would be a disgrace in my eyes if he wasn’t coming to these events or not allowed to come.”

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