Novak Djokovic will not feature at the Indian Wells Open.

It was confirmed by tournament organisers on Sunday that the world number one would miss the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season.

As he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic had applied for special permission to enter the United States, but that has seemingly been denied.

Until at least April 10, international visitors to the US must have proof of vaccination.

Djokovic, a five-time winner at Indian Wells, is also set to miss the Miami Open later in March, while his participation in the US Open could be in doubt.

The 22-time grand slam champion – who reached the semi-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championships last week – missed last year's major at Flushing Meadows due to his vaccination status. He was, however, allowed to play in this season's Australian Open.

Nikoloz Basilashvili moved into the main field following Djokovic's withdrawal.

Novak Djokovic was waiting on Saturday to learn whether he would get last-minute clearance to enter the United States to play at Indian Wells and Miami, as American tennis chiefs threw support behind the world number one.

US senator Rick Scott claimed Djokovic has been refused permission by the US Department of Homeland Security for a vaccine waiver and urged president Joe Biden to intervene on behalf of the Serbian and "fix this NOW".

Scott was backed by fellow senator Marco Rubio, who wrote on Twitter: "@DjokerNole [Djokovic] shouldn’t be prohibited from playing in the @MiamiOpen because of unconstitutional vaccine mandates.

"@POTUS [Biden] should immediately grant Djokovic a waiver to the vaccine mandate for international travellers."

Djokovic has refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and that stance has cost him places in two grand slam tournaments, being deported before last year's Australian Open and then denied permission to compete at the US Open later in the season.

It has also meant he has had to miss regular tour events in the United States, which demands international travellers are fully vaccinated.

Scott and Rubio are both senators for Florida, and accordingly their focus is on the Miami Open, which runs from March 22 to April 2.

More pressingly for the 35-year-old Djokovic, the Indian Wells tournament begins in the coming week, with main draw singles matches getting under way on Wednesday.

A statement posted on the US Open Twitter page confirmed support for the 22-time grand slam winner.

It read: "Novak Djokovic is one [of] the greatest champions our sport has ever seen.

"The USTA and US Open are hopeful that Novak is successful in his petition to enter the country, and that the fans will be able to see him back in action at Indian Wells and Miami."

Daniil Medvedev denied Novak Djokovic a 21st consecutive win to set up an all-Russian final against Andrey Rublev at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic had started 2023 by coming out on top in all 15 of his matches and winning the Australian Open, with his overall winning streak standing at 20 games.

But Medvedev ended the world number one's perfect start to the year with a superb display to take a 6-4 6-4 triumph on Friday.

The 27-year-old, who himself made it 13 consecutive wins, broke Djokovic twice on the way to taking the opening set.

Medvedev's high standard of play continued in the second, breaking Djokovic in the first game before holding in all five of his service games to secure a straight-sets victory.

"When you play against Novak you just have to play your best," Medvedev said after the win. "Kind of hope he doesn't play his best on the day because when he plays his best, well he has 22 grand slams, so even if you play your best, it is going to be tough, not sure you win.

"I managed to play a higher level than him today. In the second set I didn't face one break point, but there were so many 30-30 games. But I managed to stay composed and I am happy to be in the final tomorrow."

His win means he will face countryman Rublev in the final after the reigning champion kept his hopes of retaining the title alive with a 6-3 7-6 (11-9) success over Alexander Zverev.

Rublev had never previously won a match or set against Zverev in five previous meetings, but won three of the German's service games in the opener to go a set ahead.

The second seed was out-aced nine to two in the second set but managed to force a tie-break, going on to survive a set point before eventually securing the win on his sixth match point.

Rublev will look to join Roger Federer and Djokovic as only the third repeat champion at the tournament when he takes on Medvedev in Saturday's final.

The compatriots have met six times previously with Medvedev winning four of them, though Rublev has taken victory in their last two match-ups.

Novak Djokovic clinched a 20th win in a row and maintained his perfect year to date with victory against Hubert Hurkacz at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The world number one cruised in the opening set, before Hurkacz put up more of a fight in the second.

Djokovic eventually prevailed to seal a 6-3 7-5 win, successfully seeing off his opponent despite Hurkacz valiantly throwing everything at him.

The 35-year-old Serbian has now won 15 consecutive matches in 2023, with his latest impressive display including just seven unforced errors, less than half Hurkacz's 15 as Djokovic's clinical edge proved decisive.

Fifteen successive victories is the fourth-best start to a season in Djokovic's career, though he remains some way off the 41-0 record he began 2011 with.

A semi-final clash against Daniil Medvedev awaits following the Russian's comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory against Borna Coric, which clocked in at one hour and 21 minutes.

Medvedev is also in the midst of an impressive winning streak, rattling off 12 consecutive successes since being eliminated by Sebastian Korda at the Australian Open in January.

Andrey Rublev booked his spot in the final four with a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) victory over Botic van de Zandschulp to maintain his title defence.

He will face seventh seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-final, the German having seen off Lorenzo Sonego 7-5 6-4.

Novak Djokovic swept through to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships with ease on Wednesday, clinching a 6-2 6-3 win over Tallon Griekspoor.

The Serbian picked up his 19th consecutive victory midway through his record 378th week as world number one, settling his last-16 clash in straight sets.

Griekspoor, at a career-high position of 39th in the ATP rankings himself, proved no match for the 22-time grand slam winner, who dismantled him inside an hour and 22 minutes.

Djokovic had looked poised for a near-flawless performance, with a late lost service game at 5-1 up in the second set the only major blemish on his display.

"It's been a great evening for me," Djokovic said in his post-match interview. 

"Yesterday [against Tomas Machac], I really had to work hard to get a win. Tonight, right from the blocks, I think I was sharp. I definitely played better than I did last night.

"Maybe the last three or four games weren't the best to close the match, but I managed to find a good serve in the end.

"I'm very pleased with the performance and with the way I felt on the court, and hopefully things can go in the right direction for tomorrow."

Djokovic, who remains undefeated in 2023, is bidding to win the Dubai title for a sixth time, in what represents his first tournament since he won the Australian Open in January. 

Elsewhere, second and third seeds Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev joined Djokovic in easing their way into the last eight.

The former was made to work by Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina however, recovering for a 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-3) win, while the latter saw off Alexander Bublik 6-4 6-2.

Fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime crashed out with a surprise 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 loss to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego, who is rewarded with a last-eight clash against seventh seed Alexander Zverev.

Carlos Alcaraz confirmed his withdrawal from this week's Mexican Open due to a hamstring strain.

The reigning US Open champion, who missed the Australian Open with hamstring issues, was set to face Mackenzie McDonald in the opening round of the ATP 500 event in Acapulco.

Besides his injury frustrations, the teenager has enjoyed an impressive start to 2023, going 8-1 after triumphing in Buenos Aires and being runner-up to Cameron Norrie in Rio.

The latter event saw Alcaraz aggravate a hamstring problem, which has subsequently prevented him from building on that momentum this week. 

"Unfortunately I won't be able to play in Acapulco," the Spaniard posted on his social media channels. "I have a grade 1 strain in my right hamstring that will keep me out for several days, according to the tests we did this morning.

"I'm really sad I can't compete here, but now it's time to think about recovering and being ready as soon as possible. I hope to see you all soon!"

Norrie also confirmed he will not compete in Acapulco, the British number one citing fatigue as the reason for his absence.

"Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Acapulco," he said in an Instagram story. "It's one of my favourite tournaments, so it's really tough for me to withdraw."

Taylor Fritz was forced to come from behind to claim a three-set victory over John Isner in the opening round of the Mexican Open in Acapulco on Monday.

Fritz was among the seeds to progress, alongside Casper Ruud, Holger Rune, Francis Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.

The third seed lost the opening set in 29 minutes but rallied back to win 3-6 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes over the big-serving world number 38 Isner.

Fritz claimed his first break of the match in the 17th game before levelling things up at one set each, before breaking Isner at 4-4 in the third and serving out for victory.

The win means Fritz will take on Canada's Denis Shapovalov in the second round after he beat Miomir Kecmanovic in three sets, with the American looking to go one better after being runner-up in Acapulco in 2020.

Second seed Ruud found himself in an almighty battle with Argentina's Guido Andreozzi and eventually prevailed 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2).

World number four Ruud, ranked 338 places above his opponent, was broken in the first game of each set but dug deep to get the job done in a little under three hours. 

Fourth seed Rune got past 2023 Australian Open quarter-finalist Ben Shelton 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-2.

Sixth seed Tiafoe overcame Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 while 2023 Australian Open semi-finalist Paul beat Emilio Gomez 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

Defending champion Pedro Martinez was bundled out of the Chile Open in the first round after losing 6-2 6-0 to German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.

Jaume Munar progressed to set up a second-round clash with top seed Lorenzo Musetti after winning 6-0 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) against Alejandro Tabilo.

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from next month's Indian Wells Open as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up has not been in action this season, having been forced to pull out of the Australian Open in January due to a small lateral meniscus tear.

Kyrgios underwent surgery soon after and was targeting the opening Masters 1000 event of the season at Indian Wells for his first tournament back.

However, event organisers confirmed on Monday the 27-year-old is still not ready to return.

"Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open due to an ongoing knee injury," a statement read.

Indian Wells gets under way on March 6 and is followed by the Miami Open at the end of the month.

Kyrgios' last competitive singles match came in October at the Japan Open, which he withdrew from ahead of the quarter-finals.

The Australian, a two-time quarter-finalist on the hard courts at Indian Wells, has slipped down to 19th in the ATP Rankings.

Defending champion Andrey Rublev was able to find another gear to get through his first-round match at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday, beating Filip Krajinovic 7-5 6-2.

The number two seed got off to a rocky start, finding himself 5-2 down in the first set before dramatically turning the tide, winning five straight games.

Rublev's first serve percentage improved from 49 to 58 in the second set as he stepped up his game against his Serbian opponent.

"Filip is one of my good friends, and we always have tough battles," Rublev said after his win. "So, today I was going on court thinking that it was going to be a really tough match, and when he started the way he did, I didn't know what to do because he was playing so good.

"Somehow I calmed myself and said 'OK, restart at the bottom and raise my level', and I started to play much, much better. I was able to turn the match around and finish the match in a good way."

He will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round after the Spaniard took just 52 minutes to beat Malek Jaziri 6-2 6-0, converting all five of his break points as he strolled to victory.

Seventh seed Alexander Zverev had to come from behind to beat Jiri Lehecka 4-6 6-3 6-4, while Tallon Griekspoor set up a second-round clash with top seed Novak Djokovic after the Dutchman beat Constant Lestienne 6-4 3-6 6-2.

Novak Djokovic remains set on more success after surpassing Steffi Graf's record for weeks spent at world number one.

On Monday, Djokovic celebrated a 378th week as the best player in men's tennis, which overtook the all-time record (for men or women) set by Graf.

Like Graf, Djokovic has won 22 grand slam titles, though the 35-year-old remains in the hunt for more glory.

After his Australian Open triumph earlier this season, Djokovic will be hoping a 94th ATP Tour-level title comes his way at this week's Dubai Tennis Championships.

"I still want more achievements," Djokovic said ahead of breaking Graf's record.

"I could not have imagined this, I was dreaming as a kid to be Wimbledon champion, to be number one in the world. I achieved those dreams in 2011.

"After that, I wanted more. Of course, I'm driven by the goals. I'm as dedicated to the sport really as anybody else.

"It's surreal in a way to be that many weeks at world number one, to match Steffi Graf, who is one of the all-time greats of our sport. Just being among these legendary names is flattering. I'm very proud."

Djokovic's campaign in Dubai starts against Tomas Machac on Tuesday.

Tommy Haas says Carlos Alcaraz is already primed to succeed Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the very top of tennis.

Alcaraz became the youngest men's world number one when he won his maiden grand slam title at the US Open last year.

The Spaniard missed this year's Australian Open due to an injury, allowing Djokovic to reclaim his place at the summit of the rankings with his 10th triumph in Melbourne.

Djokovic celebrated a record-breaking 378th week at number one on Monday, the day after Alcaraz had fallen short against Cameron Norrie in the Rio Open final.

Alcaraz, who has already won seven singles titles, battled through pain in Brazil but ultimately slipped to a 5-7 6-4 7-5 defeat against the opponent he beat in the Argentina Open final a week earlier.

With the 19-year-old having already reached 10 tour-level finals, though, former world number two Haas has no doubt Alcaraz is in line to enjoy success close to that of Djokovic and Nadal.

"Yes, you have to say that he already is [ready]," Haas told Stats Perform.

"He had an unbelievable year last year, right. I think he won a title down there in Rio, on clay then he came to Indian Wells playing extremely good tennis, losing a tough battle match against Rafa in the quarters.

 

"They played some incredible tennis and you could just tell the way he moves on the court, his mental toughness and the shot selection that he has, the repertoire there is, there's nothing really missing.

"Being that young sometimes can be like the only hindrance in my mind because maybe you want it too much, or you overthink things. Or maybe in this case, you clearly don't overthink things, and you just go out and play your best and fight and give it everything you have.

"A lot of respect obviously goes to his team, his family, his coach. He just kind of went on that run, winning [in] Madrid, in his home country. And then winning his first slam, the US Open and being the youngest world number one, so what a quick rise. Just unreal, I can't even imagine how his life has been turned upside down in many ways."

The only concern, as far as Haas sees it, is Alcaraz's injury worries.

"He's a guy that wants to stick around, and remain up there at the top for a very, very long time," Haas added.

"With his game, and his potential, if he stays healthy... that's the thing, he's been already a little bit injured at a young age. So, that's a little bit of a warning sign.

"If he can remain healthy, I think that's where the team is obviously very smart. I think they're trying to build up his body still, to sustain the crazy amount of travel and the stress on the body that tennis creates on you to make sure that he has a long career, because that's what everybody hopes and dreams for."

Novak Djokovic has brought up his 378th week as world number one.

That sees the 35-year-old, 22-time grand slam champion overtake Steffi Graff as the outright record holder for the amount of weeks spent at the top of the world.

Djokovic won his first major in 2008, and has not looked back.

To mark his achievement, Stats Perform has used Opta data to run through the key numbers from Djokovic's stellar career.

 

ATP Tour titan

7 - Djokovic has been year-end number one on seven occasions, one more than Pete Sampras and two more than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jimmy Connors.

93 - Djokovic has won 93 ATP Tour titles. Only three players have won more in the Open Era.

1,249 - The Serbian has played 1,249 matches on the ATP Tour. Just Nadal (1,288), Ivan Lendl (1,310), Federer (1,526) and Jimmy Connors (1,558) have played more.

350 - Djokovic has featured against top-10 opponents 350 times, more than any other player in history. He has won 243 of these matches. 

A master at work

22 - Only Serena Williams (23) has more major titles in the Open Era than Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal for the most grand slam triumphs when it comes to men.

33 - Djokovic has played in 33 grand slam finals, the most by any male player in the Open Era. Only Chris Evert (34) has more when it comes to female players.

37 - He has won 37 per cent of the grand slam titles on offer since (and including) his maiden major success in Melbourne in 2008. Nadal has won 32 per cent (19/60) and Feder 13 per cent (8/60).

28 - No player has won more consecutive matches at the Australian Open than Djokovic (28), while he has won 28 straight at the Wimbledon, too.

10 - Djokovic is the first player to play a minimum of 10 semi-finals at each of the grand slams.

2 - After his 10th triumph at the Australian Open, Djokovic became the second male player in the Open Era to secure 10+ titles in a single grand slam, after Nadal (14 French Open titles).

38 - No player has won more ATP 1000 titles than Djokovic (38), Eleven of those titles were won without losing a set.

6 - Djokovic has won the most ATP 1000 titles won in a single season (six).

Nemesis Nadal

59 - Nadal is the player Djokovic has faced the most times in his career (59). The Spaniard has lost 30 of those matches, marking Djokovic's best win tally against a single opponent.

179 - Djokovic has faced players from Spain 179 times, winning 131 matches and losing 48.

29 - He has won 130 matches against left-handed players, losing 40. Of those 40 defeats, 29 were inflicted by Nadal.

100 - Djokovic has a 100 per cent record against four players: Gael Monfils (18-0), Jeremy Chardy (14-0), Milos Raonic (12-0) and Andreas Seppi (12-0).

Andy Murray will play Daniil Medvedev in the Qatar Open final after the 35-year-old came through yet another lengthy contest in his semi-final against Jiri Lehecka.

Murray appeared to be on course for a routine win after taking the first set 6-0, but was broken early in the second, eventually losing 6-3 to take him to a fourth three-set contest in four matches this week in Doha.

Lehecka should have won a hard-fought decider when 5-4 and 40-0 up on his own serve, but Murray's trademark resilience saw him break back despite facing five match points against, before ultimately winning the tie-break 8-6.

"I don't know how I managed to turn that match around," Murray said after the win. "In the 5-4 game, I think I played most of the match points really well. He missed one bad shot on the deuce point in that game at 5-4, but I played the match points pretty well.

"It's been an amazing start to the year. I have never experienced this in my whole career, like this many matches... It was sort of looking [like it might be a quicker match] for 30 minutes and then it turned into something completely different. Yeah, just amazing that I managed to turn that around."

Murray equalled Jimmy Connors for the fifth-most ATP hard court wins in the Open Era (489), and will play Medvedev in the final after the Russian's 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Canadian had three set points in the second set tie-break to try and force a decider, but Medvedev showed determination to turn it around and seal his place against Murray in the final.

At the Open 13 Provence, number one seed Hubert Hurkacz is through to face Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals, with both also having to come through three-set matches in a deciding tie-break.

Hurkacz was finally able to overcome Mikael Ymer 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) before Bublik defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

Third seed Alex de Minaur was shocked by Benjamin Bonzi, who broke the world number 23 four times on his way to a 6-2 6-4 victory to avenge his third-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Bonzi will meet qualifier Arthur Fils in the final four after the French 18-year-old beat former world number three Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 to reach a second straight tour-level semi-final.

Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev sealed their place in the Qatar Open semi-finals while top seed Andrey Rublev was upset 4-6 6-4 6-3 by Jiri Lehecka.

Rublev won this tournament in 2020 and looked to be on his way to the final four after a strong opening set put him ahead.

But Lehecka battled back in the second to level the match and then found a crucial break in the second game of the deciding set to seize the advantage.

It was a lead he would not relinquish, holding his nerve despite watching a pair of match points come and go to clinch victory and knock out the world number five.

Lehecka will meet Murray in the semi-finals after the Brit came from a set down to see off Alexandre Muller 4-6 6-1 6-2 and keep his hopes of winning the Qatar Open for a third time alive after back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.

A tough opener had Murray facing a deficit against the world number 170, but a typically gutsy display saw him pull off the comeback and reach his first tour-level semi-final since June 2022, when he lost in the Stuttgart Open final to Matteo Berrettini.

Medvedev sealed his place in the final four with a hard-fought 6-2 4-6 7-5 win over Christopher O'Connell.

The world number eight triumphed for the seventh straight match, but did not have it all his own way against his Australian opponent, needing a crucial break with the final set tied at five games each to put himself back into the ascendancy.

Felix Auger-Aliassime awaits Medvedev in the next round after prevailing over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets.

The world number nine out-aced his opponent eight to two to author a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory after one hour and 48 minutes, and he will look to improve on his dismal record against Medvedev on Friday, having lost all five of his meetings against the Russian.

At the Open 13 Provence, top seed Hubert Hurkacz reached the quarter-final after rallying from a set down to see off Leandro Riedi 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Second seed Jannik Sinner was forced to withdraw through illness, sending wildcard Frenchman Arthur Fils into the final eight, where he will meet Stan Wawrinka.

Alex De Minaur teed up a clash with Benjamin Bonzi by cruising past Alexander Ritschard 6-3 6-3, while world number 25 Grigor Dimitrov will play Alexander Bublik on Friday after beating Gijs Brouwer in straight sets.

Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray battled to outlast their opponents at the Qatar Open, while Daniil Medvedev breezed into the quarter-finals.

Top seed Rublev, who won this tournament in 2020, responded to a first-set setback to rally to a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (8-6) win over Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday.

The world number five was staring at a fourth opening-round defeat in five appearances this year but saved three match points en route to fighting back from 5-2 down in the decider.

Murray and fourth seed Alexander Zverev played out another three-set thriller in the Middle East, with the former world number one triumphing 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-5.

That clash lasted three hours and three minutes in another marathon match for Murray after defeating Italian Lorenzo Sonego in a final-set tie-break in the first round.

Medvedev (3) had no such difficulty in a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory over world number 147 Liam Broady.

Second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime had to regain his composure during his debut in Doha, but ultimately prevailed 4-6 6-1 6-4 against Jason Kubler.

World number eight Auger-Aliassime had lost his only previous meeting with Kubler, and an upset was on the cards after the Canadian was broken in the third game and was unable to recover.

Yet he found his form with a blistering second set, reeling off five straight games to restore parity and keeping his cool in the decider.

That victory teed up a last-eight meeting with seventh seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who downed Kwon Soon-woo 6-3 6-2.

Jiri Lehecka will meet favourite Rublev after beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2 7-6 (7-2), while Botic Van De Zandschulp was shocked by world number 170 Alexandre Muller in a straight-sets defeat.

Elsewhere at the Open 13 Provence, fifth seed Maxime Cressy fell to a surprise second-round elimination after a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 loss to home favourite Benjamin Bonzi.

There was no such luck for the other Frenchmen in Marseille as Alexander Bublik eased past Gregoire Barrere, while Stan Wawrinka beat Richard Gasquet 4-6 7-5 6-2 to reach the last eight.

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