Novak Djokovic pulls out of US Open, vaccination status, Covid, John McEnroe reacts, latest, updates

Novak Djokovic withdrew from the US Open on Thursday as his refusal to get vaccinated means he can’t journey to the United States in a transfer which had been broadly anticipated.

It is the second Grand Slam the 35-year-old Serb will miss resulting from not being jabbed after he was deported previous to the Australian Open earlier this 12 months.

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“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” tweeted Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion.

“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.” Djokovic’s announcement got here simply 90 minutes earlier than the draw for the ultimate Slam of the season was made in New York.

Organisers introduced he would get replaced within the draw by a fortunate loser from qualifying.

Stacey Allaster, US Open Tournament Director, regretted the absence of a participant who has received 21 Grand Slams, only one behind the lads’s report held by Rafael Nadal.

“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,” Allaster mentioned in an announcement.

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“We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”

Tennis legend John McEnroe had blasted the Djokovic ban as a “joke”.

“At this point, in the pandemic, we’re two and a half years in, I think people in all parts of the world know more about it, and the idea that he can’t travel here to play, to me is a joke,” mentioned McEnroe.

Ironically, through the top of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Djokovic was allowed to compete at New York the place he was champion in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He has additionally missed Masters occasions this 12 months at Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati and at Montreal resulting from his stance on the vaccine.

Djokovic has not performed since securing a seventh Wimbledon title in July. Only final month, Djokovic mentioned he was “preparing to play” within the US Open, a match with which he has had a bittersweet relationship in recent times.

In 2020, he was defaulted after unintentionally hitting a line choose with a ball he had angrily swiped away.

Last 12 months, he was defeated within the closing by Daniil Medvedev, a end result which ended his hopes of changing into the primary man since Rod Laver in 1969 to finish the calendar Grand Slam.

Djokovic has obtained some sympathy from gamers on the tour.

“Strange argument to make that it’s unrealistic to think gov policy should be changed or special allowances made. Basically every tournament played in 2020/2021 was due to special allowances,” tweeted US participant Tennys Sandgren.

“How can you just memory hole almost 2 years?”

Djokovic is because of return to the tour on the Laver Cup in London from September 23-25 the place he’ll play alongside Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

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