Novak Djokovic out of US Open 2022; says he will not be travelling to New York 'this time'

Novak Djokovic has confirmed he won't be taking part in the US Open as the 35-year-old Serb took to Twitter to reveal he won't be travelling to New York for the Major.

FP Sports August 25, 2022 20:30:17 IST
Novak Djokovic out of US Open 2022; says he will not be travelling to New York 'this time'

Novak Djokovic in a file photo. AP

New York: Novak Djokovic has confirmed he won’t be taking part in the US Open, beginning this Monday, as the 35-year-old Serb took to Twitter to reveal he won’t be travelling to New York for the Major.

The Serb wrote on the micro-blogging website on Thursday: “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. 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 21-time Grand Slam champion is 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 was the runner-up there a half-dozen times, including last season, when his pursuit of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969 ended with a loss in the final to Daniil Medvedev.

Foreign citizens who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are currently unable to enter the US or Canada, and Djokovic has said he won’t get the shots, even if that prevents him from playing in certain tournaments.

The US Tennis Association has said all along it will follow government rules about vaccination status for this year’s Open. There is no vaccine mandate at the tournament for players or their support teams — meaning that 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 will be unable to compete at the 2022 U.S. Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens,” said Stacey Allaster, the US Open tournament director. “We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 U.S. Open.”

Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a protracted legal saga ended with his deportation from that country because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. He also sat out four significant tournaments in North America in 2022, including in Montreal and Cincinnati recently.

He did play in the French Open, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Nadal, and at Wimbledon, where Djokovic won the title.

After beating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on 10 July, 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 US 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 has spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone else in the history of the ATP rankings. He is No. 6 this week, in part because no rankings points were awarded at Wimbledon this year.

Among the other players who will not be at the U.S. Open for various reasons are No. 2-ranked Alexander Zverev, the 2020 runner-up in New York; 2016 champion Angelique Kerber; 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova; Gael Monfils and Reilly Opelka.

(With inputs from AP)

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