COVID-19 vaccination: Djokovic misses US Open

Former number one of the men’s world Novak Djokovic said he will not play at the US Open, which starts Monday, because he cannot travel to the United States under Covid protocols.

It is the second Grand Slam that the 35-year-old Serb will miss because he has not been vaccinated, having been evicted earlier this year ahead of the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately, I can’t travel to New York this time for the US Open,” tweeted Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion.

Djokovic’s announcement, which was widely anticipated, came hours before the draw for the final slam of the season – the organizers announced he would be replaced by a lucky qualifying loser.

Stacey Allaster, US Open Tournament Director, regretted his absence.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will not be able to participate in the 2022 US Open as he will not be able to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens,” he said. she said in a statement. .

“We look forward to welcoming Novak back to the 2023 US Open.”

Tennis legend John McEnroe calls Djokovic’s ban a ‘joke’

“Right now, in the pandemic, we are two and a half years on, I think people in all parts of the world know more about it, and the idea that he can’t travel here to play is to me a joke,” said McEnroe.

Ironically, during the height of the pandemic, Djokovic was allowed to compete in New York in 2020 and 2021, where he became champion in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He has not played since taking a seventh Wimbledon title last month, taking him to 21 Grand Slam victories, one less than Rafael Nadal’s record of 22.

Just last month, Djokovic said he was “preparing to play” at the US Open, where a traumatic defeat in last year’s final at the hands of Daniil Medvedev wiped out his hopes of a Grand Slam sweep of the four majors.

Djokovic signed his tweet and said he hoped to be back soon.

“Good luck to my fellow players! I will remain in good form and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again.

“Goodbye tennis world!”

AFP

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