Novak Djokovic's slim hopes of playing the US Open hampered by latest CDC guidelines

As per latest CDC guidelines, updated on 24 August, all foreign travellers to the United States need to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

FP Sports August 25, 2022 15:12:56 IST
Novak Djokovic's slim hopes of playing the US Open hampered by latest CDC guidelines

File image of Novak Djokovic. AP File

New York: Novak Djokovic’s desperate hopes of playing the US Open were all but dashed on Wednesday night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American public health agency, updated its guidelines but did not back down on requiring foreign travellers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The latest guidelines remained steadfast on needing foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated before boarding any flight to the United States.

The latest guideline reads, “Non-US citizen, non-US immigrants: You must show proof of being fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine before you board your flight to the United States.”

The latest guideline shut the door firmly on Djokovic’s chances that were boosted slightly a fortnight ago. Then, CDC had said unvaccinated people have the same guidance as vaccinated people. Additionally, people who were exposed to the virus were not required to quarantine. The caveat being that these apply only to US citizens.

The development comes as a blow to Djokovic’s chances of playing at the US Open that gets underway on 29 August with the draw to be conducted on Thursday (25 August). As a result, his place will go to a lucky loser from the qualifying draw.

Djokovic’s absence from Flushing Meadows has been a topic of debate. Americans Reilly Opelka, John Isner and Tennys Sandgren have backed the Serb. Former World No 1 Andy Roddick gave a measured take by saying, “a tennis tournament and a specific player won’t dictate govt policy.”

Former US Open champion John McEnroe called it “a joke” that Djokovic is unable to travel to the United States and compete in the final major of the year.

The 21-time Grand Slam winner is not mentioned on the US Open website among the players. Even Djokovic’s website reads: “There are no scheduled events at the moment.”

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