Novak Djokovic does not regret his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite losing the world number one ranking.
Djokovic has spent a record 380 weeks at the top of the rankings but was unable to compete in the first two ATP 1000 events of the season – the Indian Wells Open and the Miami Open – after his request for special permission to travel to the United States was declined.
The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entering the country, although that policy is set to be scrapped in May.
With the 22-time grand slam champion unable to feature, Carlos Alcaraz returned to the top of the rankings with victory at Indian Wells.
"I have no regrets," Djokovic told CNN.
"It's a pity that I wasn't able to play in Indian Wells [and] Miami. I love those tournaments. I had plenty of success there. But at the same time, it is the conscious decision I made and I knew that there was always a possibility that I wouldn't go.
"It is the current state or current situation that I hope will change later this year for the US Open. That is the most important tournament for me on American soil.
"I've learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past and I don't want to do that.
"I also don't want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment, but of course, think about the future and create a better future."
Alcaraz, who won the US Open in 2022, romped to last week's title at Indian Wells with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 victory against Daniil Medvedev in the final.
THE KING IN CALI— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 20, 2023
@carlosalcaraz defeats Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 to capture his first Indian Wells title and reclaim the World No. 1 ranking! @BNPPARIBASOPEN | #TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/H2mhr9JhB0
"I congratulate Alcaraz," Djokovic said. "He absolutely deserves to come back to number one."
Djokovic's attention will now turn to the clay season in Europe as he gears up to try and win a third French Open title.
"I'm as enthusiastic as ever, as motivated as ever for the sport, my family, my foundation, all the projects and everything I'm doing off the court," he added.
"The dignity, and integrity, and staying true to myself, and my beliefs and my rights are above everything."