Banned from traveling to the United States because of the Covid vaccine, Novak Djokovic announces his withdrawal from the US Open

Less than two hours before the draw for the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic put an end to the false suspense by announcing that he would not be playing the US Open this year. Not vaccinated against Covid-19, the Serbian champion cannot enter American territory. He waited as long as possible for a change in the rules in force in the United States. In vain. After the Australian Open, the “Djoker” must therefore give up on another Grand Slam tournament this year. For the same reasons.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to travel to New York this time for the US Open (…) Good luck to my fellow players! I will keep myself in good shape and in a positive state of mind until I can resume competition.“, he wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday. In reality, the question was not so much whether Djokovic would be present in New York as when he would announce his absence.

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By formalizing the thing Thursday before the draw ceremony, Djokovic avoids a headache for the organizers of the US Open. At the last Australian Open, while battling in court for the right to play in Melbourne, the ex-world number one emerged as the number one seed, right at the top of the table, before finally being replaced once his inevitable package. So there will be none of that at Flushing Meadows.

Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he is unable to participate in the US Open 2002, since he is not able to enter American territory due to federal legislation on vaccination for foreign citizens. We look forward to welcoming Novak at US Open 2023“, for its part reacted the tournament in a press release published shortly after the announcement of Djokovic.

Djokovic had never missed two Majors in a season

Triple winner of the tournament in 2011, 2015 and 2018, Novak Djokovic also had his share of annoyances at the US Open. He notably lost six times in the final. Last year, it cost him the calendar Grand Slam. In 2020, he was sent off in the round of 16 in a match against Pablo Carreño Busta for unintentionally throwing a ball in the direction of a linesman.

At the time, the tournament was held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the vaccine has allowed the various sports competitions to resume in an almost normal way. But for Novak Djokovic, vaccination will have marked the beginning of the problems. By choosing by personal conviction not to be vaccinated, he exposed himself to the legislation of certain countries imposing vaccination, such as Australia and the United States.

This is the first time since the start of his professional career in 2005 that Novak Djokovic will miss two of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Despite everything, he managed to win a new Major in 2022 since he won at Wimbledon in July. He could hope to match Rafael Nadal in New York and his 22 capital titles. This will not be the case. He also risks leaving the Top 10 by losing the 1200 points of his 2021 final.

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