INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Two of the biggest names on the men's entry list for the BNP Paribas Open are unlikely to play in the Southern California tournament.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were injured during the Australian Open last month, and Djokovic's COVID-19 vaccination status also is still an issue for the tournament that runs March 6-19 at Indian Wells.
Djokovic, a five-time winner in the desert, missed last year's tournament because of his vaccination status. The U.S. is set to end its COVID emergency declarations on May 11, long after the tournament concludes.
Djokovic won the Australian Open last month for his 22nd career major despite being bothered by a left hamstring injury. He returned to No. 1 in the world rankings. Nadal injured his hip during a second-round loss at the Australian Open and could be out up to two months.
Second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz, who reached the semifinals last year, is set to return to Indian Wells after missing the Australian Open because of injury. Also entered are No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 4 Casper Ruud and No. 5 Andrey Rublev. American Taylor Fritz is back to defend his title.