US Open: Unvaccinated Djokovic locked out

Novak Djokovic has announced he will not be traveling to New York for the upcoming US Open after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making himself ineligible to enter the country.

‘Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,’ Djokovic tweeted Thursday ahead of the US Open draw. ‘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!’

The three-time US Open winner had hoped to enter the tournament, provided the US government changed its policy for unvaccinated visitors. The US Tennis Association previously said it would adhere to such a change by allowing Djokovic to play if he were permitted in the US.

After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he ‘would love’ to participate in the last Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but he also acknowledged, ‘I’m not planning to get vaccinated.’

About three weeks later, Djokovic posted on social media that he was holding out hope of getting the chance to play in the UU Open, writing: ‘I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to US. Fingers crossed!’

Djokovic’s hopes were dashed Thursday.

Djokovic didn’t point the finger at tennis or government officials when making his announcement

Officials did stress that he will be welcome to play at the US Open in 2023.

‘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 a statement. ‘We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.

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