Novak Djokovic has had his appeal to enter the US allegedly rejected as he was aiming to play in the Indian Wells Open ©Getty Images

World number one Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters this week as his COVID-19 vaccine waiver to enter the United States was declined.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters 1000 event is set to be begin today in California with qualifying but Sebria's 22-times Grand Slam champion will be missing as there is currentl a restriction on unvaccinated non-US citizens entering the country.

Djokovic is a high-profile critic of the vaccine and refuses to have it. 

The current entry restrictions are due be lifted on April 10, opening the door for Djokovic to compete in the US Open, which is scheduled for August.

The 22-time grand slam winner's effort to enter the US was supported by the US Open and the United States Tennis Association, but it was not enough to entice the government.

Djokovic is still hopeful of playing in the Miami Open, which starts on March 19, before the current restrictions end.

The five-time Indian Wells winner had revealed last month that he had still to hear whether he would be granted the waiver. 

"I'm waiting for a reply, it's not on me," said Djokovic.

"Everything is in process. 

"I'm thankful to the Indian Wells and Miami tournament and communities for their support publicly.

'"They would like me to be able to play in their tournaments. 

"I'm very thankful for that because I have a big desire to be there, I haven't played there for a couple of years.

"I'm looking forward to a positive decision coming soon, but it's not in my hands."

Novak Djokovic will again be missing from the Indian Wells Masters as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images
Novak Djokovic will again be missing from the Indian Wells Masters as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images

DJokovic, who last won Indian Wells in 2016 to tie Roger Federer's record for the number of victories at the tournament, was also absent from last year's tournament due to being unvaccinated.

The 2020 event was cancelled at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dejokovic also missed the 2022 US Open and was absent at the Australia Open earlier in the year as he was deported due to his vaccination status.

He was able to return to compete in the Australia Open this year as the restrictions were lifted, which he went on to win for a record 10th time after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.