US Open ‘very hopeful’ unvaccinated Novak Djokovic can play

Immediately after Novak Djokovic withdrew from tournaments in Florida and California due to the fact he nevertheless cannot travel to the United States as a foreign citizen who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, a US Tennis Association (USTA) spokesman said Saturday the group is “very hopeful” the prime-rated player will be permitted into the nation for the US Open in August.

“Policies about access to the United States are established by the White Home. We are really hopeful that the coverage stopping Novak Djokovic from getting into the United States will be rescinded, or lapse, in the near potential,” the USTA’s Chris Widmaier wrote to The Affiliated Push. “No COVID-19 constraints are in area at the US Open for any participant, enthusiast or other attendee. Novak, one of our sport’s wonderful champions, would be welcome to compete at the 2023 US Open up.”

The two-week US Open up commences in Flushing Meadows on August 28.

Djokovic, a 35-calendar year-outdated from Serbia, was not able to get to New York for the season’s very last Grand Slam event in 2022, when he also missed the Miami Open and BNP Paribas Open mainly because he in no way received the shots for the illness triggered by the coronavirus.

A six-time Miami Open champion, Djokovic is out of the subject for the function that starts next week, a spokesman for the Miami Open up claimed Saturday.

Djokovic is No. 1 in the Affiliation of Tennis Professionals rankings and is tied with Rafael Nadal—who is hurt and also will not be in Miami—at 22 Grand Slam titles, the file for most received by a male. In 2023, Djokovic is 15-1 with two titles, such as at the Australian Open in January.

But he will now have skipped the to start with two Masters 1000 activities of the season. He also pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ends this weekend.

Back in in April 2020, as the pandemic raged, Djokovic stated he was opposed to needing to be vaccinated to vacation. He later on claimed he would not get inoculated even if it meant lacking tournaments.

In January 2022, he experimented with to get an exemption to contend at the Australian Open up and traveled to Melbourne. But right after his case went to court, his visa was revoked and Djokovic was deported from the country.

Pandemic constraints have been eased in Australia because, and Djokovic returned this yr devoid of a challenge and won the season’s first key championship.

In the meantime, Nadal has been sidelined due to the fact hurting his remaining hip flexor in the course of a 2nd-spherical decline at Melbourne Park. He is aiming to return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters subsequent month.

Image credits: AP