Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic Out Of US Open Because He Can’t Enter Country

NEW YORK (AP) — Novak Djokovic won’t play within the U.S. Open, as anticipated, as a result of he’s not vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and thus shouldn’t be allowed to journey to the USA.

Djokovic introduced his withdrawal from the 12 months’s final Grand Slam match on Twitter on Thursday, hours earlier than the draw for the occasion was revealed.

“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” Djokovic wrote, wishing luck to his fellow gamers, and stated he would “keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again.”

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, in the course of the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, in New York.

Play is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Djokovic is a 35-year-old from Serbia who owns 21 main championships, one behind Rafael Nadal for the boys’s file. Three of Djokovic’s Slam trophies got here on the U.S. Open, in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He additionally was the runner-up there a half-dozen occasions, together with final season, when his pursuit of the primary calendar-year Grand Slam in males’s tennis since 1969 ended with a loss within the ultimate to Daniil Medvedev.

Overseas residents who haven’t been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 are at present unable to enter the united statesor Canada, and Djokovic has stated he gained’t get the photographs, even when that forestalls him from enjoying in sure tournaments.

The U.S. Tennis Affiliation has stated all alongside it’s going to observe authorities guidelines about vaccination standing for this 12 months’s Open. There is no such thing as a vaccine mandate on the match for gamers or their assist groups — which means that an unvaccinated American can be allowed to compete — and spectators won’t be required to put on masks.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 U.S. Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-U.S. citizens,” stated Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Open match director. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 U.S. Open.”

Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a protracted authorized saga ended along with his deportation from that nation as a result of he isn’t vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. He additionally sat out 4 vital tournaments in North America in 2022, together with in Montreal and Cincinnati just lately.

He did play within the French Open, the place he misplaced within the quarterfinals to Nadal, and at Wimbledon, the place Djokovic gained the title.

After beating Nick Kyrgios within the Wimbledon ultimate on July 10, Djokovic stated he “would love” to take part within the final Grand Slam match of the 12 months at Flushing Meadows, however he additionally acknowledged, “I’m not planning to get vaccinated.”

About three weeks later, Djokovic posted on social media that he was holding out hope of getting the possibility to play within the U.S. Open, writing: “I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to US. Fingers crossed!”

Djokovic has spent extra weeks at No. 1 than anybody else within the historical past of the ATP rankings. He is No. 6 this week, partially as a result of no rankings factors had been awarded at Wimbledon this 12 months.

Among the many different gamers who won’t be on the U.S. Open for varied causes are No. 2-ranked Alexander Zverev, the 2020 runner-up in New York; 2016 champion Angelique Kerber; 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova; Gael Monfils and Reilly Opelka.