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The absence of Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells and Miami has been a huge blow for tennis fans around the world but not for the Serbian star. Even losing the number 1 ranking to Alcaraz has had no impact and congratulated the young Spaniard on his triumph over Daniil Medvedev at BNP Paribas Open.
Djokovic’s stance on vaccines has landed him in hot water and the issue persists. He was treading a thin wire in January when he was close to being sanctioned by none other than the Serbian PM. It did not deter him and led to his ousting from Indian Wells Open and Miami Open.
Commonly known as the Sunshine Double, the 22-time Grand Slam winner needed the points to keep his lead in the ATP rankings but let it slip. To his credit, he did apply for a special exemption to enter the US, but his request was denied due to Covid-19 regulations in the country.
To make up for lost time and points, Djokovic will be appearing in the 2023 Srpska Open Banja Luka. The ATP 250 competition will also feature Andrey Rublev, Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric, and Richard Gasquet among others.
Djokovic: Regrets only hold you back
Despite this setback, Djokovic refuses to “live in the past” and dwell on what could have been. He understands that regrets hold people back and he does not want to down that road. His focus is on what comes next rather than looking too far into the future.
“No, I have no regrets,” he said during an interview on CNN. “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 the future, create a better future.”
The Serbian ace also had no qualms at losing the number 1 spot to Carlos Alcaraz. He congratulated the young Spaniard while also commenting that his presence at the Californian event would have made the rate to the top interesting.
Returning for the US Open
Fortunately, US lawmakers will be dropping their Covid-19 regulations by May 11th which means those who are unvaccinated can still enter America. This has opened the doors for Djokovic, who is targeting the US Open to make his comeback in the competition that is the most dear to him.
“So I congratulate Alcaraz. He absolutely deserves to come back to No 1,” Djokovic commented. “It’s a pity that I wasn’t able to play in Indian Wells [and] Miami. I love those tournaments. I had plenty of success there.
“But at the same time, it is a 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 later this year for the US Open. That is the most important tournament for me on American soil.”
Djokovic’s last appearance on American soil was at the 2021 US Open where he lost in straight sets against Daniil Medvedev but still felt the love and appreciation from everyone.