Novak Djokovic has formally withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters, in an indication the world number one’s application for a COVID-19 vaccine waiver to enter the United States might have failed.

Djokovic — who is one of the highest-profile athletes unvaccinated against the virus — applied to the US government last month for special permission to play at ATP Masters events at Indian Wells and Miami.

The US currently bars unvaccinated foreigners from entry into the country, a policy that is expected to be lifted when the government ends its COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11.

Indian Wells tournament organisers confirmed on Monday that Djokovic had withdrawn, with Nikoloz Basilashvili taking his place in the men’s draw.

Djokovic has not competed at the back-to-back ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami — two of the biggest tournaments on the ATP calendar and known as the “Sunshine Double” — since 2019.

No-one from Djokovic’s team was immediately available to comment on the withdrawal.

Last week, Florida senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to grant the waiver request.

Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas, the United States Tennis Association and the US Open were among those also hoping the 22-time major singles champion would be allowed to enter.

He would have been a heavy favourite to win his sixth Indian Wells title when the tournament kicked off in California on Thursday.

Djokovic was forced to miss last year’s Australian Open due to his vaccination status.

He was not allowed into the US for last year’s US Open.

The Serbian won his record-equalling 22nd major championship at the Australian Open in January.