Novak Djokovic withdraws from US Open
Novak Djokovic withdraws from US Open: Novak Djokovic’s chances to play at the US Open seem bleaker. The New York-based Grand Slam left the Serbian superstar out of all of their promos. The Billboard has no sign of Novak but includes Nadal, Alcaraz, Kyrgios, Swiatek, Serena Williams, Medvedev, Raducanu, and Naomi Osaka.
Djokovic won the tournament, US Open, three times. Djokovic was a finalist in 2021. He missed that victory last year to become the second player in history to complete the Super Slam (a tennis player wins all four Grand Slams in one calendar year). So far, only Andre Agassi has achieved to win Super Slam in the Men’s category, back in 1999.
The nine-time Australian Open champion failed to play in Melbourne and might miss the US Open. The 35-year-old recently said he had his “fingers crossed” to be in the draw when the Grand Slam starts on 29 August.
The Serbian maintains his firm stance on not getting the Covid vaccine making his professional life difficult. The US has issued a provision for non-citizens and non-residents to enter the country with a Covid-vaccine certificate or Covid-recovery certificate. The ATP and US Open organizations themselves do not display this requirement. This has made him miss out on the previous set of tournaments in Cincinnati, Toronto, Indian Wells, or Miami, back in Spring.
The US Open’s decision to omit Novak Djokovic from their official billboard signals to confirm their low hopes of him being legally cleared to enter the United States.
Djokovic was still on the US Open entry list on the 22nd of August. But Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19. Since October 2021 the United States has banned non-vaccinated visitors to enter the country.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation’s health protection agency. The CDC has kept demands for a non-US citizen to “show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19” before traveling by air from a foreign country.
This ruling prevented Djokovic from playing ATP Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami in March and April. He missed the last week’s Cincinnati Open.
He was denied to play at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. This was another Masters event he missed that took place this month because of Canada’s ban on unvaccinated visitors.
In February, Djokovic told the BBC “the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else”, but commented that he was keeping an open mind about being vaccinated in the future.
When asked by a reporter at Wimbledon in June whether he had dismissed the option of getting vaccination in order to compete in the United States, he replied: “Yes.”
The CDC went on to relax some of its Covid-19 restrictions on the 11th of August. This included bringing some rules for unvaccinated US citizens into line with those who are vaccinated.
When announcing the changes, the CDC told that it would “work to align stand-alone guidance documents” in a few areas including travel in the coming weeks.
These factors did raise the hopes of Djokovic fans. The player hopes that the travel restrictions for unvaccinated visitors will be eased before the US Open begins.
Many people have put up questions on the scientific rationale behind not letting Djokovic enter the US. As per the CDC’s rules, it allowed unvaccinated Americans to travel overseas.
But with a week to go until the Grand Slam tournament begins, there has been no movement seen in the rules and time is running out for Djokovic.
Almost 50,000 people supported Djokovic by signing a petition asking for him to be allowed to play. Djokovic thanked his fans for their support shortly after its creation.
“I am preparing as if I will be allowed to compete, while I await to hear if there is any room for me to travel to the US. Fingers crossed,” he added in a social media post on the 30th of July.
Djokovic has long admitted he would not be vaccinated. He said to BBC that he was willing to sacrifice playing in the biggest tournaments in order to stick to his principles.
This interview came a few weeks after he was deported from Australia. There was a dramatic and high-profile court case about the validity of his visa to enter the country.
When asked about his decision not to get vaccinated, Djokovic replied that he was trying to be in tune with his body as much as he could be.
Djokovic told that he had “always been a great student of wellness, wellbeing, health, and nutrition”.
But he insisted on his statement that he was “never against vaccination.”
Not being vaccinated did not deny Djokovic from playing at the French Open or Wimbledon. Most countries that host ATP events now relaxed rules. The US Open could belong to the group of the last events where this is an issue for the former world number one.