NEW YORK (dpa) – As expected, Novak Djokovic will not play at the US Open because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and is therefore not allowed to travel to the USA.
Djokovic announced his withdrawal from the last Grand Slam tournament of the year on Twitter on Thursday, hours before the draw for the event was announced.
“Unfortunately I’m not able to travel to NY for the US Open this time,” Djokovic wrote, wishing his teammates luck and saying he will “stay in good shape and positive spirits and will wait for an opportunity to compete again.” ”
The game is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
Djokovic is a 35-year-old from Serbia who owns 21 major championships, one behind Rafael Nadal for the men’s record. Three of Djokovic’s Slam trophies came at the US Open in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
He also finished second there half a dozen times, including last season when his quest for the first calendar-year grand slam in men’s tennis since 1969 ended in a final loss to Daniil Medvedev.
Foreign nationals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are currently unable to enter the United States or Canada and Djokovic has said he will not get the vaccinations even if it prevents him from playing certain tournaments.
The US Tennis Association has been saying all along that it will follow government rules on vaccination status for this year’s Opens. There is no vaccination mandate for players or their support teams at the tournament – meaning an unvaccinated American may attend – and spectators are not required to wear masks.
Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a protracted legal saga ended with his deportation from that country for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. He also competed in four major tournaments in North America in 2022, including recently Montreal and Cincinnati.
He played at the French Open where he lost to Nadal in the quarterfinals and at Wimbledon where Djokovic won the title.
After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he would “love to” compete in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but also conceded, “I have no plans to get vaccinated allow.”
About three weeks later, Djokovic posted on social media that he has hopes of getting a chance to play the US Open, writing: “I’m preparing as if I’m allowed to compete while waiting for to hear if there is any room for me to travel to the US. Fingers crossed!”
Djokovic has spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone in the history of the ATP rankings. He is sixth this week, partly because no ranking points were awarded at Wimbledon this year.
Other players who will not make the US Open for various reasons include 2nd-ranked Alexander Zverev, the 2020 New York runner-up; Champion 2016 Angelique Kerber; 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova; Gael Monfils and Reilly Opelka.
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