Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic will not take part in this year’s US Open because the tournament is set to follow the government’s rules on Covid-19 vaccination.
Djokovic – who was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year – is unvaccinated against Covid-19, meaning that he’ll fall foul of the rules stating all non-citizens must be fully vaccinated to enter the USA.
Therefore, the 21-time Grand Slam winner will not be able to enter the country to play.
After his recent Wimbledon win, the 35-year-old said that he was waiting on ‘hopefully some good news from [the] USA’.
The Serbian has won the annual event at Flushing Meadows three times in his career.
He had been named on a provisional entry list for the year’s final major tournament on Wednesday, but that does not guarantee that he’ll play, more that he’s currently ranked seventh in the world, so it was a matter of routine.
The US Open does not have any vaccination rules of its own, but they released a statement that reads: “Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men’s and women’s singles main draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event.
“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.”
When Djokovic was asked about his potential participation, he said: “I'm not going to go to America if I don't have permission, so the Australian saga for me was not pleasant at all.
“People still think I forced my way to Australia and tried to come in with no papers, permission or exemption - it is not true.
“That was proven in the court cases, so I would never go into a country where I didn't have permission to travel.
“I would love to come back to Australia.
“I love Australia, I had my best Grand Slam results in that country.
“Hopefully I can be there in January because I want to be there, and I also want to be in New York.
“I want to be in America and everywhere I can possibly play.”
More than 22,000 people have signed a petition calling for Djokovic to be allowed to compete.
The petition reads: “There is absolutely no reason at this stage of the pandemic to not allow Djokovic to play at the US Open 2022.
“US Government and USTA must work together to allow him to play.
“If unvaccinated American players can play, Djokovic as one of the legends of the game must be allowed to play.
“MAKE IT HAPPEN, USTA!”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: US News, Sport, Coronavirus