Lodi News-Sentinel

Miami Open entry list impressive, but Djokovic may miss out

- — Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald

MIAMI — The Miami Open revealed its provisiona­l entry list for next month’s tournament at Hard Rock Stadium. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is currently the top seed but unlikely to play, unless he gets a special exemption, because the U.S. COVID travel laws do not allow unvaccinat­ed non-U.S. citizens to enter the country.

Djokovic is not vaccinated. The United States is among the countries that require COVID vaccinatio­n without the option of providing a test as an alternativ­e.

Rafael Nadal is also on the Miami Open list, but he withdrew from an upcoming exhibition due to injury, so he remains questionab­le.

Even if Djokovic and Nadal don’t make it, the Miami Open has an impressive field that includes world No. 2 and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 4 Casper Ruud, No. 5 Andrey Rublev, No. 7 Taylor Fritz and No. 8 Daniil Medvedev.

Ruud lost to Alcaraz in the 2022 Miami Open final. Fritz, the highest-ranked American, is coming off a title last week at the Delray Beach Open.

In addition to Alcaraz, two other recent Miami Open winners will return, Hubert Hurkacz (2021) and John Isner (2018).

On the women’s side, top-ranked Iga Swiatek will be back to defend her 2022 title. Other previous winners in the field include Sloane Stephens (2018) and Victoria Azarenka (2016, 2011, 2009).

Other players to watch include Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka (No. 2), Florida native Coco Gauff (No. 6), 2022 US Open Finalist Ons Jabeur (No. 3), former Miami Open finalists Jannick Sinner and Alexander Zverev, and American Jessica Pegula.

Qualifying rounds are March 19-21 and will determine 12 additional slots in each singles’ draw. Wild cards will also be awarded to five men and eight women. The women’s main draw begins March 21, followed by the first round of the men’s main draw on March 22. The tournament runs through April 2.

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