Novak Djokovic has decided to withdraw from the US Open since he will not be allowed to enter the United States owing to his vaccination status. The decision came hours before the main draw was announced by the organizers.
The easing down of COVID-19 restrictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aroused a glimmer of hope for Djokovic, but they didn’t make any changes for the Non-US citizens entering the nation. The Serb announced his absence on Thursday on Twitter.
“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!” wrote Djokovic.
“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-U.S. citizens. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open,” read a statement from Stacey Allaster, the US Open tournament director.
The 21-time major winner has already missed the Australian Open earlier this year. He was deported back from Australia and slapped with a ban of three years from entering the nation.
Having publicly expressed his desire to retire with the most majors, Djokovic, 35 now, has missed 50% of the grand slams. He has featured in only two grand slams this year – the French Open And Wimbledon. If Australia doesn’t ease the rules, he’ll have to wait for almost a year for his next major appearance.
But the Serb is hell-bent to remain unvaccinated, even if it means sacrificing his entire tennis career. “Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” said Djokovic earlier this year. By the end of this US Open, Djokovic, who is currently ranked number six in the world, will drop further in the ATP rankings after losing out 1200 points.
Lead image: Novak Djokovic/Twitter