Three-time champion Novak Djokovic withdraws from US Open

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Three-time champion Novak Djokovic has said he will not take part in the upcoming US Open which begins on Monday. “Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to New York this time for the US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I will stay in good shape and be positive and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you tennis world soon!” Djokovic wrote in a tweet. Djokovic was not allowed to travel to the United States due to Covid protocols as it required him to be vaccinated.

This is the second Grand Slam the 35-year-old Serbian will miss as he was not vaccinated as he was sent off ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Djokovic’s widely expected announcement came hours before the draw for the final Slam of the season – organizers said he would be replaced by a lucky qualifier loser.

“Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he cannot participate in the US Open 2022 because he cannot enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens” , said tournament director Stacey Allaster. said in the press release. “We look forward to welcoming Novak to US Open 2023.”

Tennis legend John McEnroe called Djokovic’s ban a ‘joke’

“At this point in the pandemic, we’re two and a half years away, I think people in all parts of the world know more, and the idea that he can’t travel here to play, for me is a joke,” McEnroe said.

Ironically, at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Djokovic was cleared to compete in New York where he was champion in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

He hasn’t played since winning a seventh Wimbledon title last month, which took him to 21 Grand Slam victories, one shy of Rafael Nadal’s record of 22.

Just last month Djokovic said he was “getting ready to play” at the US Open where a traumatic loss in last year’s final at the hands of Daniil Medvedev dashed his hopes of a Grand Grand sweep Slam of the four major tournaments.

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With AFP inputs

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