Novak Djokovic pulls out of US Open due to Covid vaccine status


Tennis star Novak Djokovic has announced that he will not play at the US Open as he would not be able to travel to New York for the tournament that begins next week.

The world No 6, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, said last month that he was hoping “for some good news from USA” with the country requiring non-citizens to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter. However, a recent update on the US Centers for Disease Control website confirmed the rule will remain in effect for the immediate future.

On Thursday, the Serb, a three-times winner at Flushing Meadows, confirmed he will not play in the tournament. “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” he tweeted. “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!”

Djokovic also missed the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open this year, after a lengthy row over Covid rules.

“Novak is a great champion,” said the tournament director, Stacey Allaster, in a statement, “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. We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open.”

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