On April 21, the Department of Homeland Security expanded “temporary Title 19 requirements,” which require non-US citizens entering the US to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of immunization upon request.
“These requirements have been expanded in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several other federal agencies,” DHS said wrote upon notification of the extension. “According to the CDC, vaccines remain the most effective public health measure to protect people from serious illness or death from COVID-19, slow the transmission of COVID-19, and reduce the likelihood of emergence of new COVID-19 variants. ”
A change of course by Djokovic no longer seems likely. “I don’t plan on getting vaccinated so the only good news I can have is that they are removing the mandatory green vaccination card or whatever you call it to enter the United States or an exemption,” Djokovic said last month after winning Wimbledon, his 21st Grand Slam title. At the end of July the Serb tennis ace Posted on his social media channels: “I’m preparing as if I’m allowed to compete while waiting to hear if there’s room for me to travel to the US. Fingers crossed!”
Djokovic fans received a glimmer of hope that the three-time US Open champion will be able to travel to New York due to the updated COVID-19 guidelines announced by the CDC on August 11th. The revised guidance moved away from social distancing and COVID-19 quarantine requirements while removing any distinction in protocols between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“These guidelines recognize that the pandemic is not over, but also help us get to a point where COVID-19 is no longer seriously disrupting our daily lives,” said Greta Massetti, a CDC epidemiologist, in one Explanation.
The CDC said it will work in the coming weeks to host “standalone guidance” related to “healthcare facilities, higher-risk congregation facilities and travel.” But few expect the DHS regulations, which have kept Djokovic away from the US for all events this year, to change this week.
“We would, of course, welcome Novak if the federal guidelines currently banning entry of unvaccinated non-U.S. citizens were to change,” a USTA spokesman said via email. Djokovic is believed to be the only player in the ATP top-100 who would be banned from playing due to the guidelines.
Current American players John Isner and Taylor Fritz both questioned the decision to stop Djokovic from playing, with Isner calling it “madness”. John McEnroe also supported Djokovic. “I think it sucks,” McEnroe told Fox News this month. “It’s really unfortunate but those are the rules we really have with the government at the moment. I disagree with that, however so life is right now.” Two-time presidential candidate Steve Forbes echoed McEnroe, calling it “bureaucratic BS” on twitter.
Djokovic was at the center of the tennis world on and off the court in 2022. He was it deported from Australia in January ahead of the Australian Open when his medical exemption visa was annulled. Djokovic’s ability to reach France for the French Open was in doubt but he was eventually allowed to compete at Roland Garros where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. His seventh and last event this year was his title at Wimbledon. The stakes will be raised for Djokovic as he battles with Nadal and Roger Federer for the all-time men’s record for Slam wins. Nadal currently leads at 22.
Djokovic placed fifth with $28.2 million Sporticois the balance sheet of the world highest paid tennis player. Although sponsors have started retreat by Djokovic, despite his chance to go down as the greatest player in the history of the sport. This year UKG and Peugeot both ended valuable ‘patch’ sponsorships that bring brands big exposure at marquee games like Grand Slam finals. His Peugeot deal began in 2014, and UKG signed Djokovic in 2019. Lacoste remains Djokovic’s most valuable promotional partner in a deal worth up to $10 million annually, including bonuses for a big year on the pitch.
Djokovic lost to Daniil Medvedev in a stunning upset in last year’s US Open final, ending his quest to become the first man to win the calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. It was his sixth record loss in an Open final. Caesars sportsbook has Djokovic as a favorite this year at +150, followed by Medvedev at +250.