Three-time champion Novak Djokovic said he will not play in the upcoming US Open which begins on Monday. “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!,” Djokovic wrote in a tweet. Djokovic was ineligible to travel to the United States due to Covid protocols as it required him to be vaccinated.
Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 25, 2022
It is the second Grand Slam the 35-year-old Serb will miss due to not being vaccinated as he was deported prior to the Australian Open earlier this year.
Djokovic’s announcement, which was widely anticipated, came hours before the draw for the final slam of the season — organisers announced he would be replaced by a lucky loser from qualifying.
“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens,” tournament director Stacey Allaster said in the statement. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”
A statement from the US Open: pic.twitter.com/E5ijwpkKjS
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 25, 2022
Tennis legend John McEnroe has blasted the Djokovic ban as a “joke”
“At this point, in the pandemic, we’re two and a half years in, I think people in all parts of the world know more about it, and the idea that he can’t travel here to play, to me is a joke,” said McEnroe.
Ironically, during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Djokovic was allowed to compete at New York where he was champion in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
He has not played since securing a seventh Wimbledon title last month which took him to 21 Grand Slam victories, one short of Rafael Nadal’s record of 22.
Only last month, Djokovic said he was “preparing to play” in the US Open where a traumatic defeat in last year’s final at the hands of Daniil Medvedev dashed his hopes of a Grand Slam sweep of the four majors.
With AFP inputs
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