Novak Djokovic unvaccinated outside US Open, cannot travel to America | Radio-Canada Sports

Novak Djokovic won’t play at the US Open, as planned, as he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore not allowed to travel to the United States.

Djokovic announced his withdrawal from the final Grand Slam tournament of the year on Twitter on Thursday, hours before the draw for the event was revealed.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to travel to New York this time for the US Open,” Djokovic wrote, wishing his teammates good luck, and said he would “stay fit and in a positive spirit and wait for a opportunity to compete again.”

Play is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Djokovic is a 35-year-old Serbian who has 21 major championships, one behind Rafael Nadal for the men’s record. Three of Djokovic’s Slam trophies have come at the US Open, in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He’s also been a runner-up there half a dozen times, including last season when his pursuit of the first calendar year grand slam in men’s tennis since 1969 ended in a final loss to Daniil Medvedev.

Foreign citizens who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 cannot currently enter the United States or Canada, and Djokovic said he will not get vaccinated, even if it prevents him from participating in some tournaments.

The American Tennis Association said it will follow government rules regarding vaccination status for this year’s Open throughout. There are no vaccination mandates at the tournament for players or their support teams – meaning an unvaccinated American would be allowed to compete – and spectators will not be required to wear masks.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he cannot participate in the US Open 2022, as he cannot enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens” , said Stacey Allaster, the tournament director of the US Open. “We look forward to welcoming Novak to US Open 2023.”

Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after the end of a long legal saga with his expulsion from this country because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. He has also appeared in four major tournaments in North America in 2022, including Montreal and Cincinnati recently.

He played at Roland-Garros, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Nadal, and at Wimbledon, where Djokovic won the title.

WATCH | Djokovic wins 7th Wimbledon, 21st career Grand Slam title:

Djokovic beats Kyrgios for 7th Wimbledon championship

The top-ranked star won his 4th consecutive Wimbledon title beating Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).

After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he would “love” to play in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year at Flushing Meadows, but he also admitted: “I don’t plan to get vaccinated.”

About three weeks later, Djokovic posted on social media that he was still hopeful of a chance to play at the US Open, writing, “I’m preparing as if I’ll be allowed to compete, waiting for to know 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 No. 6 this week, in part because no ranking points have been awarded at Wimbledon this year.

Other players who won’t be at the US Open for various reasons include No. 2-ranked Alexander Zverev, the 2020 runner-up in New York; 2016 champion Angelique Kerber; Marketa Vondrousova, 2019 French Open finalist; Gael Monfils and Reilly Opelka.

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