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.

U.S. sweeps Uzbekistan, advances to group stage in Davis Cup

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The United States swept its way into the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, getting the winning point in a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan from the doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

They beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, after Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald had won singles matches in Tashkent.

Ram is No. 3 in the ATP Tour doubles rankings and partnered with Joe Salisbury to win the last two U.S. Open men’s doubles titles. But the Americans opted not to use Ram last year in the final round, when they dropped the doubles match in a 2-1 defeat against Italy in the quarterfinals.

Krajicek was making his Davis Cup debut, having reached No. 9 in the doubles rankings late last year.

“They had five great days of preparation, and as anticipated they came out really sharp and got the early break in the first set. And after that it was like two freight trains, there was no stopping them,” interim captain David Nainkin said.

Denis Kudla then beat Amir Milushev 6-4, 6-4.

The winners of the 12 qualifiers being held this weekend advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, along with reigning champion Canada, 2022 runner-up Australia and wild-card recipients Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will advance to the closing matches of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for Nov. 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

In other matches:

France 3, Hungary 2: On indoor hard courts in Tatabanya, Hungary, Ugo Humbert won it for the French with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Fabian Marozsan. Adrian Mannarino had forced the deciding match by beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Serbia 4, Norway 0: On indoor hard courts in Oslo, the visitors, playing without top-ranked Novak Djokovic, put away the match when Filip Krajinovic and Nikola Cacic edged Viktor Durasovic and Herman Hoeyeraal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Hamad Medjedovic then outlasted Durasovic 6-4, 6-7, 10-4.

Sweden 3, Bosnia 1: On indoor hard courts in Stockholm, Mikael Ymer sent the hosts through by beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Lesia Tsurenko to face Zhu Lin in Thailand Open final

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine reached her first final in four years after the top-seeded Bianca Andreescu retired with a shoulder injury during their semifinal match at the Thailand Open.

Tsurenko, in search of her fifth WTA title, was leading the 2019 U.S. Open champion 7-5, 4-0 when the Canadian stopped playing.

The former world No. 23 fought from 3-5 down to take the first set and reeled off eight straight games before Andreescu retired with a right shoulder problem.

“Bianca is such an amazing player. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today,” said the 33-year-old Tsurenko, now ranked 136th. “But I was just fighting and I told myself positive things that I can do it. Unfortunately, she had to retire.”

The Ukrainian last lifted a WTA trophy in Acapulco in 2018 and hasn’t been to a final since Brisbane in 2019.

She will face Zhu Lin of China in the final.

“She had some good wins in the Australian Open,” Tsurenko said. “She is one of the dangerous players in this tournament. She is going to give a good fight.”

In the all-Chinese semifinal earlier, Zhu benefited from a barrage of unforced errors from Wang Xinyu and prevailed 6-2, 6-4 for her first WTA final.

The world No. 54 player, who reached the last 16 at the Australian Open in January, relied on her solid baseline game to force errors.

“It was very windy, so I tried to be patient and keep my first serves in,” said the 29-year-old Zhu, who will team up with Wang in the doubles final against Hao-Ching Chan and Fang-Hsien Wu of Taiwan.