The US Open has apparently slammed the door on Novak Djokovic to take part in the final grand slam of the season despite the Serbian star being named to the tournament entry list.
Fresh off his Wimbledon triumphDjokovic was under no illusions when asked if he would compete in the United States.
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The United States currently requires non-citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, despite Djokovic having repeatedly said he does not and will not take the vaccine.
“I’m not vaccinated and don’t plan on getting vaccinated so the only good news I can have is they’re removing the mandatory green vaccine card or whatever you call it to get in in the United States or an exemption,” the 35-year-old said. said.
“I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is actually possible. If it’s a possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be. I don’t know. I don’t have many answers there -down.
“I think it’s fair whether or not they take it out in time for me to get to the United States.”
Although he was named on its entry list, the US Open said it was not a hint of an exemption, but rather a process.
“As per Grand Slam rules, all eligible players are automatically entered into the Men’s and Women’s Singles Main Draw fields based on seeding 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event,” a statement from the United States reads.
“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.”
Djokovic was also named to the list of participants for the Western and Southern Open, who also reiterated that he is unlikely to play via Fox19.
“The United States government requires all noncitizens and nonresidents to present a certificate of full immunization of a CDC-approved vaccine to enter the country,” the statement said.
“As the ATP 1000, it’s an automatic entry for male players. He indicated at Wimbledon that he was not vaccinated. However, if the policy in the United States changes, then he could choose to play .
On July 19, the United States had more than 160,000 new Covid cases and more than 500 deaths.
Although this is far from its peak when the country reached more than one million new cases and 3,000 deaths per day, the numbers are still worrying and the United States is unlikely to change its position.
Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, says he has a better chance of winning the Croatia Open next week than Djokovic has of playing at Flushing Meadows.
“I am more optimistic that I will win Umag if I receive an invitation from Tomislav (Poljak, tournament director), that Djokovic will triumph at the US Open,” he said.
“Fiasco”: the Americans are fighting for Novak
But that hasn’t stopped fans from fighting for Djokovic to be allowed to attend the US Open as 18,000 fans have signed an online petition.
Former world number one John McEnroe has called on the United States to allow Djokovic to play.
“We have to sort this out,” the seven-time Major champion told Tennis365. “Djokovic needs to play the US Open. Please someone find out how we do that because we need this amazing champion there.
“Novak didn’t get the credit he deserves, he’s a classy actor. I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect him. He’s one of the fittest guys in the world and everything he puts in his body he watches carefully.
“It’s unfortunate that he got to this situation where it was a train wreck for him. A total debacle. To the point where he was kicked out of Australia, are you kidding me?
“The way it all turned out was just awful, so I respect him that much more that he overcame those things. He has to be the mentally strongest player I’ve ever seen on a tennis court. .”
Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General Ramesh Thakur also spoke, calling on Americans to allow Djokovic to play.
Thakur, who is the director of the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, also called Australia’s deportation of Djokovic “petty, vindictive and an example of medical tyranny”. .
“I would love to see the Americans reject a repeat of the US Open fiasco but I’m not holding my breath,” Thakur said in a column for the Brownstone Institute.
Djokovic was deported from Australia in January and has been firm in his opposition to the vaccine.
His Australian drama began when Djokovic’s entry visa was canceled as he attempted to enter the country for the Australian Openjust a few hours after touted his “exempt permission” on Instagram as he boarded a flight to Australia.
Then Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that Djokovic never had an exemption in the first place which was the beginning of a long ordeal.
Djokovic won the first court battlewho canceled his visa cancellation but a decision of then Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled his visa “for reasons of health and good order”.
Speaking last week, Djokovic said he would like to return to Australia in the future.
“Hopefully in January I can be there because I want to be there, and I want to be in New York as well. I want to be in America, I want to be anywhere I can play,” Djokovic said. .
“I’m a professional tennis player, I don’t do politics or anything because it doesn’t interest me.
“I have my position and I am a believer in the freedom to choose what is best for you. I respect everything and everyone, and at least I expect people to respect my decision.
“If I have permission, I will be there. If I don’t, I won’t be here, it’s not the end of the world.
Another big name added to the entry list was Serena Williams.
Williams, who won the first of her six titles in New York in 1999, remains frustratingly one Grand Slam away from Margaret Court’s record of 24.
The American star won the last of her 23 majors at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. His last triumph at the US Open dates back to 2014.
Former world number one Williams only returned to singles action at Wimbledon last month after a year on the sidelines with injuries.