Novak Djokovic is officially out of the US Open due to vaccinations

Novak Djokovic Did not play in the US Open as expected, as he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and was therefore not allowed to travel to the US.

Djokovic announced his withdrawal from the year's final Grand Slam tournament on Twitter on Thursday, hours before the draw for the event was announced.

“Sadly, I won't be able to travel to NY this time for the US Open,” Djokovic wroteHe wished his fellow players the best of luck, and said he would “stay in good shape and have a positive attitude and look forward to the opportunity to compete again.”

Play is scheduled to begin Monday at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic is a 35-year-old from Serbia who owns 21 major championships, behind Rafael Nadal for the men's record. Djokovic's three Slam trophies came at the US Open in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He was also runner-up there half a dozen times, including last season, when his pursuit of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men's tennis since 1969 ended with a loss to Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Foreign nationals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are currently unable to enter the United States or Canada, and Djokovic said he would not get the shot, even if it prevented him from playing in certain tournaments.

The US Tennis Association has said it will comply with government regulations on vaccination status for this year's Open. The tournament has no vaccine mandate for players or their supporting teams — meaning any unvaccinated American will be allowed to compete — and spectators are not required to wear masks.

“Novak is a great champion and it is extremely unfortunate that he will be unable to compete in the 2022 US Open, as he cannot enter the country due to the federal government's vaccination policy for non-US citizens,” said Stacey Alastair, US Open tournament director. “We look forward to welcoming Novak to the 2023 US Open.”

Djokovic missed the Australian Open in January after a lengthy legal saga ended with him being deported from that country for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. He recently participated in four important tournaments in North America in 2022, including Montreal and Cincinnati.

He played at the French Open, where he lost to Nadal in the quarterfinals, and at Wimbledon, where Djokovic won the title.

After defeating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final on July 10, Djokovic said he would “love” to participate in the year's final Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows, but also admitted, “I'm not planning on getting vaccinated.”

About three weeks later, Djokovic posted on social media that he was holding out hope of playing at the US Open, writing: “I'm preparing as if I'm going to be allowed to compete, while I'm waiting to hear back. No trip to the US for me.” RUM Fingers crossed!”

Djokovic has spent more weeks at No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings. He is ranked No. 6 this week, as no ranking points were awarded at Wimbledon this year

Among the other players who will not be at the US Open for various reasons are 2020 runner-up in New York, No. 2 ranked Alexander Zverev; 2016 Champion Angelique Kerber; 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrosova; Gael Monfils and Riley Opelka.

Reporting done by The Associated Press

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