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04 December, 2022
 
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Djokovic refused entry to US, will not play in US Open

The 21-time Grand Slam champion confirmed today he was refused entry to the US due to his COVID vaccination status

Source: Daily Mail

Novak Djokovic has announced he will not be traveling to New York for the upcoming US Open after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making himself ineligible to enter the country.

'I was never against vaccination,' he told the BBC in February, saying he got vaccinated as a child, 'but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.'

'Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,' Djokovic tweeted Thursday ahead of the US Open draw. '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!'

An additional player from the Qualifying Tournament will be the 'lucky loser' who replaces Djokovic at the 2022 US Open, according to a statement from tournament officials.

Officially, Djokovic withdrew from the tournament before the main draw was released.

'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-US citizens,' tournament director Stacey Allaster said in a statement.

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

The 35-year-old Serbian had ample reason to play in New York, given that his 21 Grand Slam titles are just one off the men's record held by rival Rafael Nadal.

However, Djokovic has steadfastly refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, missing several tournaments as a result. The decorated Serbian tennis sensation has maintained that he is not against all vaccines, but is very discriminating when it comes to things he puts into his own body.

'I was never against vaccination,' he told the BBC in February, saying he got vaccinated as a child, 'but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.'

He skipped the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country and needed to sit out two events in the United States earlier this year, along with tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati earlier this month.

Unvaccinated foreign citizens are not currently permitted to enter Canada or the US.

Djokovic was holding out hope of being able to enter the US Open, provided the US government changed its policy. The US Tennis Association previously said it would adhere to such a change by allowing Djokovic to play in the tournament if he were permitted in the US.

 

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