Novak Djokovic in draw at Indian Wells, status still up in air

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Novak Djokovic was placed in the men’s draw for the BNP Paribas Open, although it remains to be seen whether the second-ranked player will be allowed to enter the United States.

Djokovic isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. requires visitors to be vaccinated to enter the country. Additionally, tournament officials have said everyone at Indian Wells must be fully vaccinated to be on site.

Djokovic’s name was on the entry list when the men’s draw was made, so the five-time tournament champion was included. He received a first-round bye and would play either David Goffin or Jordan Thompson in the second round.

“We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country,” tournament officials said in a statement.

Djokovic’s photo was included on a “We Miss You” wall of players who are absent from Indian Wells.

He last played at a tournament in Dubai last month, losing in the quarterfinals to Jiri Vesely.

He was deported from Australia in January after his visa was canceled on the eve of the Australian Open. Djokovic said a previous COVID-19 infection meant he was exempt from rules stating that all arriving visitors must be fully vaccinated. He was detained in an immigration facility before being ordered to leave.

Meanwhile, Barbora Krejcikova withdrew because of an elbow injury.

The second-ranked Krejcikova said she’s been bothered by the injury since the tournament in Qatar nearly two weeks ago. She said the pain worsened overnight, a day before the Indian Wells event begins.

“I will focus on getting the right treatment as soon as possible and I hope I can be back on the court soonest,” Krejcikova said in a statement.

The 26-year-old from the Czech Republic is the defending champion at the French Open, which begins May 22.

The desert tournament already lost top-ranked Ash Barty, who announced last week that she wouldn’t play since she hasn’t sufficiently recovered after her victory in the Australian Open in January.

Alize Cornet of France moved into Krejcikova’s place in the draw and a lucky loser from qualifying will take Cornet’s place.

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.