At the beginning of the year he had already missed the Australian Open, now also the US Open. Because of his refusal to vaccinate, tennis star Novak Djokovic will not start at the tournament in the USA this year. Shortly before the draw for the last Grand Slam tournament of the season this Thursday, the name of the 35-year-old Serb was suddenly missing from the list of players published on the tournament homepage.
The event in Flushing Meadows will therefore take place from Monday without the three-time winner and last year’s finalist. However, there has not yet been an official announcement from the organizers.
Djokovic’s absence comes as no surprise as the United States requires foreign citizens to provide proof of vaccination and the 21-time Grand Slam tournament winner has categorically refused vaccination against the coronavirus. “I’m not vaccinated and I don’t plan to get vaccinated,” Djokovic emphasized after his Wimbledon triumph in July.
Because of this attitude, Djokovic is already missing the second Grand Slam tournament this year after he had to leave the country before the first serve at the Australia Open in January after a prank about his entry, which also occupied the courts.
Until recently, Djokovic had hoped for an exception at the US Open. He prepares himself “as if I had permission to play,” Djokovic, who has not competed in a tournament since Wimbledon, tweeted at the end of July.
The organizers of the US Open would have welcomed the start of the exceptional talent, but they also emphasized that they respect the USA’s entry regulations regarding the corona virus. With a few exceptions, vaccination is still a prerequisite for traveling to the country. That didn’t change shortly before the US Open.